Nearly half of Colorado's 1.2 million children have experienced cavities by the time they start kindergarten. Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease — but it is mostly preventable. Established and funded by Delta Dental of Colorado, the Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation is improving Colorado's dental health by working to eradicate childhood tooth decay. We approach this by:
- Funding educational programs that reach and empower low-income, high-risk families and communities
- Supporting dental health education for medical and dental students (and providers)
- Focusing on teaching good dental habits and prevention
- Stressing the importance of good dental health for pregnant women and children
As part of these efforts, the foundation launched the multi-year public will building campaign, Cavities Get Around in August 2014. Its goal is to raise awareness of the importance of baby teeth and children drinking only water between meals and at bedtime.
Another way we are working to achieve our mission is through the foundation's Colorado Medical-Dental Integration (CO MDI) Project, which integrates dental services in medical practice settings. Integrated hygienists provide preventive services, coordinate oral health care for patients, and collaborate with dentists for comprehensive care. Seventeen medical practices were awarded grants and are participating in CO MDI, which began in 2014 and will last for several years.
We also released a video called Cavities are Preventable that helps educate people, especially community leaders, on the real and lasting impacts of childhood tooth decay.
We are proud of the work our foundation does in the community and that over the past ten years, Delta Dental of Colorado has given nearly $49 million back to the community in the form of support for our foundation and other community benefit programs.
You can learn more about the foundation's current initiatives at deltadentalcofoundation.org/initiatives.