PHOENIX, Ariz. (May 16, 2018) - Statistics show tooth decay in children and adolescents is twice as high for underserved families than those from higher incomes due to lack of education about the importance of oral hygiene. To combat that, Delta Dental of Arizona, through its Foundation, is awarding a $25,000 grant to Tooth B.U.D.D.S. (Bringing Understanding of Dental Disease to Schools) to ensure children in the rural counties of Arizona may receive professional dental cleanings, free of charge in their school setting.
“This oral health grant from Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation has allowed us to bring our vision of in-school mobile oral health and education to life. Some of the most common, yet preventable, diseases in children start with tooth decay, causing them to miss over 50 million hours of school per year nationally,” said MiQuel McRae, founder and executive director of Tooth B.U.D.D.S. “One of the greatest threats to a child's academic success may not be a lack of knowledge, but a lack of good oral health.”
Thanks to this Delta Dental of Arizona grant, low-income, at-risk students in the Graham and Greenlee counties will receive professional dental cleanings, sealants, fluoride varnish as well as Silver Diamine fluoride which stops active decay once it started. In addition, Tooth B.U.D.D.S. will be able to go into each class individually to teach children about their mouth all while making the experience fun. Each Child receives a water bottle filled with oral hygiene supplies to practice their new oral health skills at home.
Greenlee county has the lowest percentage of children having had a dental check-up in the last year, which is primarily attributed to the lack of dental providers in the area. Program recipients with additional dental needs will be referred to local dental providers that have agreed to partner with Tooth B.U.D.D.S.
“Education is key when it comes to proper oral hygiene and overall health, so it makes complete sense that we partner with incredible nonprofits like Tooth B.U.D.D.S that work to educate and care for the youngest members of our communities,” said Allan Allford, chief executive officer at Delta Dental of Arizona. “The changes these grant recipients are making in the community is what our foundation is all about. We want to contribute to the success of our grantees for the sake of a healthier Arizona.”
About Tooth B.U.D.D.S.
Tooth B.U.D.D.S. is a non-profit organization that provides dental disease education and oral care to Graham and Greenlee counties schools. B.U.D.D.S. stands for Bringing Understanding of Dental Disease to Schools. Its primary goal is to improve the oral health and overall health of the children in these counties. Tooth B.U.D.D.S. believes that through optimal health outcomes, they can help safeguard at-risk children's long term capacity to learn and succeed within the school environment. For more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/toothbudds/.
About Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation
Founded in 1997, the Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation is the charitable arm of Delta Dental of Arizona, the dental benefits company. Its mission is to improve oral health, particularly for underserved and uninsured groups and communities. Since 2006, the Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation has provided more than $12 million in community benefit support for oral health promotion and dental disease prevention programs across the state. For more information on the Foundation, please visit www.deltadentalaz.com/foundation.