OKEMOS, Mich. — During National Children’s Dental Health Month, the Delta Dental Foundation (DDF) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) are renewing their commitment to improve oral health across the state. This year, the DDF is providing $225,000 to support SEAL! Michigan and community water fluoridation programs.
“School-based sealant programs and community water fluoridation are effective and efficient ways to prevent dental decay among children,” said Holli Seabury, EdD, executive director of the DDF. “The DDF has been a proud partner in these efforts for more than ten years.”
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. SEAL! Michigan provides sealants, dental screenings, fluoride applications and oral health education to elementary and middle school students—all during the school day. Last year, SEAL! Michigan served 3,670 of children, even with fewer clinics offered due to the pandemic.
The community water fluoridation funding covers new and replacement equipment to community water suppliers to promote the initiation and continuation of fluoridation across Michigan. Since 2010, this grant has provided support for 53 communities to ensure more than 1.2 million people have access to fluoridated water.
Fluoride works by creating a shield on the tooth’s surface that helps prevent damage from acids created by food and drink. The result is strengthened tooth enamel, which makes cavities less severe, reduces tooth loss, and lessens pain caused by tooth decay. Studies suggest that fluoridation saves about $32.19 per person per year in averted dental treatment—a 20 to 1 return on investment.
“We appreciate the Delta Dental Foundation’s continued support for the SEAL! Michigan program,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “These investments have helped us provide dental sealants to more than 43,000 children across the state over the years, preventing tooth decay and improving their overall oral health.”
For more information about SEAL! Michigan and community water fluoridation, visit Michigan.gov/OralHealth. To help celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month, download the DDF’s social media toolkit at https://bit.ly/NCDHM2022.