Delta Dental of Wisconsin Foundation Increases Annual Seal-A-Smile Commitment
Program provides elementary students with sealants and more
STEVENS POINT, Wis., July 16, 2019 – The Delta Dental of Wisconsin Foundation has announced their commitment to the Seal-A-Smile program by matching the State’s recent $175,000 increase for the 2019-20 budget to preventive program funding. Delta Dental is contributing an additional $175,000, bringing their grant total to $525,000 for this academic year. The State’s bi-annual budget recently committed an additional $2 million to oral health programs which included Seal-A-Smile and safety net dental clinics through 2021.
“Access to dental care is an important part of keeping our kids healthy so they can succeed in school and in life,” Gov. Tony Evers said. “I’m proud that we are taking a comprehensive approach to increasing dental access for folks all over the state by funding important initiatives like the Seal-A-Smile program.”
Seal-A-Smile provides oral health screenings, fluoride varnish, and sealants when necessary to elementary students across Wisconsin, at no cost to caregivers. The program targets schools where 35% or more of children are eligible for free or reduced meals which helps reach a larger proportion of youth who are uninsured or have Medicaid dental coverage.
“With this increased funding for the program, more children will have access to these critical preventive services,” said Ann Boson, executive director of the Delta Dental of Wisconsin Foundation. “Preventing painful cavities in vulnerable populations is at the core of our mission.”
Dental pain can directly impact a child’s ability to learn and is a leading cause of school absenteeism. Simple preventive treatments, like dental sealants on molars, go a long way to prevent cavities. Wisconsin’s highly effective and successful Seal-A-Smile program works to ensure school children throughout the state receive the dental care they need. Sealants have a lifelong impact on children’s oral health, as 80% of sealed teeth stay cavity-free.
Seal-A-Smile is a collaborative effort among Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ Oral Health Program, and the Delta Dental of Wisconsin Foundation. Delta Dental and the state co-fund the program, which is available in nearly every Wisconsin county. Last year, the Seal-A-Smile program screened over 70,000 students, with nearly 30,000 receiving dental sealants.
Since 2008, Delta Dental has contributed more than $3.3 million to the Seal-A-Smile program.