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Book Reaches Busy New Parents


It’s important for parents to begin caring for their baby’s mouth at birth and to start dentist visits by the time their child turns 1.

But how can we get this information to busy new parents who may toss aside a brochure or handout? An attractive, fun baby board book to read over and over.

In 2019, the Delta Dental Foundation partnered with McMillen Health to distribute “Happy Teeth” baby board books to home visitors for use with the families on their caseloads in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.

One of the agencies receiving “Happy Teeth” is the Northwestern Ohio Community Action Commission (NOCAC), which has been serving preschoolers in the rural northwest corner of Ohio for more than 50 years. In the fall of 2019, NOCAC expanded their reach and began providing Early Head Start (EHS) home-based services to pregnant woman, infants and toddlers.

“The Delta Dental Foundation has committed to donating a ‘Happy Teeth’ book to each of our enrolled EHS families,” says Sheana Behringer, NOCAC health and safety manager. “With this generous in-kind donation we will engage families in conversations that address oral health and develop strategies to effectively fight tooth decay. Our staff will be intentionally planning a one-on-one home visit to deliver the book, set goals and celebrate each milestone with them as those primary teeth begin to erupt.”

“Happy Teeth” presents information in both English and Spanish and was developed by McMillen Health in 2015, and more than 100,000 copies have been distributed nationwide, mainly through agencies like Early Head Start and WIC. Recently, “Happy Teeth” got refreshed with new cover art and the addition of a child with special needs.

“The Delta Dental Foundation has a strong commitment to the special needs population because they face so many obstacles to having good oral health,” says Holli Seabury, executive director of the Delta Dental Foundation. “We wanted to make sure the children pictured in the book reflect that commitment.”

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