Delta Dental Foundation investment in state sealant program, fluoridation totals more than $1.5 million

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Feb. 11, 2019

MDHHS CONTACT: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112

DELTA DENTAL CONTACT: Lisa Ermak, 517-381-4210

OKEMOS, Mich. — To help improve oral health across the state, the Delta Dental Foundation has partnered with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) for nearly a decade and invested more than $1.5 million in dental sealant and fluoridation programs.

This year, the Foundation is providing $200,000 for sealants through MDHHS’ SEAL! Michigan program and $7,200 for the Village of Sheridan to upgrade its fluoridation equipment and install a new pump for an additional well.

“We are very pleased to support the SEAL Michigan program once again this year,” said Teri Battaglieri, Executive Director of the Delta Dental Foundation. “Our goal is to reduce tooth decay in children, and dental sealants are a great way to protect teeth from cavities. In addition to dental screenings and sealants, this program provides children and their parents with information about how to take care of their teeth and how to access dental care.”

Dental sealants help prevent tooth decay. The plastic coating seals off the dips and grooves on the top of teeth, preventing bacteria and food from getting caught and causing cavities. Sealants and dental screenings are provided to elementary and middle school students through the MDHHS Oral Health Program’s SEAL! Michigan program. Screenings, sealants and oral health education are all provided during the school day.

Last year, the program served nearly 6,700 children, with approximately 40,000 children served by the program since it began. With this year’s grant, the Foundation has provided more than $1 million to support the SEAL! Michigan program.

Fluoridation is the adjustment of fluoride in the water to a level that is optimal for preventing tooth decay. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drinking fluoridated water keeps teeth strong and reduces cavities by about 25 percent in children and adults.

“Delta Dental’s continued support for the SEAL! Michigan program and community fluoridation is greatly appreciated and vitally important to our youth,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. “These investments prevent tooth decay and help improve oral health, particularly among our youngest residents. Numerous studies have found that improved oral health leads to improved overall health.”

The SEAL! Michigan program is recognized as a best practice program by the Association of the State and Territorial Dental Directors, the CDC and other national organizations.

For more information about the program, visit Michigan.gov/oralhealth.

 

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