Children’s Dental Health Month

In 2011, the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation launched a statewide Dentist By 1TM public education campaign to encourage parents and caregivers to take their children to the dentist by age 1. The campaign also targeted specific Iowa communities and was built using a successful grassroots coalition to reach out to medical and dental providers, community partners, families and caregivers.
The Dentist By 1 campaign is working. Since the program began, more Iowa children on Medicaid have seen a dentist for preventive services. The following chart illustrates this increase in comparison to the national average.

To keep the momentum going, the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation, in partnership with the Iowa Department of Public Health, I-SmileTM and local providers, has launched an extension of Dentist By 1, now known as Cavity Free Iowa. Cavity Free Iowa seeks to educate, train and equip primary care and pediatric medical professionals to provide oral health screenings, risk assessments and fluoride varnish in accordance with Iowa's Care for Kids program guidelines.
Through broad partnerships, Cavity Free Iowa links children to oral health education and preventive services by a trusted heath care professional and coordinates dental care through I-Smile to a dentist. In addition, Iowa medical professionals can now bill to provide fluoride varnish for Medicaid children up to age 3. Because children see their medical providers at regular intervals during this critical developmental stage, this is a unique opportunity to create a lasting impact on the oral health of Iowa children.