Delta Dental Foundation investment in state sealant program totals more than $1 million

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 14, 2018

CONTACTS: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112 or Lisa Ermak, 517-381-4210

OKEMOS, Mich. — Children miss 51 million hours of school every year from oral health issues, such as tooth decay.

An easy fix to prevent tooth decay among children of elementary age is to apply dental sealants. Recognizing the importance of that preventive measure, the Delta Dental Foundation has once again partnered with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to support the SEAL! Michigan program with $200,000 this school year.

“Dental sealants help prevent tooth decay and keep children healthy,” said Teri Battaglieri, Director of the Delta Dental Foundation. “The SEAL Michigan program makes it easy and convenient for children to get the preventive care and oral health education they need during the school day.”

SEAL! Michigan is a school-based sealant program administered by the MDHHS Oral Health Program. Elementary and middle school students across the state receive dental screenings and sealants on site at their school. This school year, the program will visit 41 counties and serve about 7,000 children.

The program is offered at no cost to families. The Delta Dental Foundation has supported the program since 2012 with $1 million in grant funding.

“Delta Dental’s continued support for the SEAL! Michigan program is greatly appreciated and vitally important to our youth,” said MDHHS Chief Deputy Director Nancy Vreibel. “These grant funds have helped us provide dental sealants to nearly 33,000 children across the state over the years, preventing tooth decay and improving their overall oral health.”

The SEAL! Michigan program is recognized by the Association of the State and Territorial Dental Directors, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as other national organizations.

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

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About Delta Dental Foundation

The Delta Dental Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization established in 1980, which serves as the philanthropic arm of Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and North Carolina. The Foundation’s goals are to support education and research for the advancement of dental science and to promote the oral health of the public through education and service activities, particularly for those with special needs. For more information, visit Deltadentalmi.com.

SEAL! Michigan

To increase access to sealants for low-income children across the state, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Oral Health Program established a school-based dental sealant program, SEAL! Michigan, in 2007. Elementary and middle schools with a high percentage of children enrolled in the Free and Reduced Lunch Program are eligible to participate. At no cost to parents, students receive oral screenings, dental sealants on all eligible erupted molar teeth, fluoride applications, oral health education and referrals for dental care.