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36,000 Toothbrushes for Iowa Head Start Children

Posted on October 19, 2016 in Foundation

The Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation collaborates with the Iowa Head Start Association’s daily tooth brushing program by donating 36,000 toothbrushes to Iowa Head Start children in 2016. The donation is part of the Foundation’s long-term strategic goal to have Iowa children ages 0-12 free of cavities by 2020.

“According to the Surgeon General, tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease,” said Jeff Russell, president of the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation. “Beyond the toothbrush donations, organizations like Head Start educate and engage kids about dental health daily so that it will become a healthy habit for their lifetime.”

Head Start teachers use the toothbrushes in conjunction with curriculum that helps students learn how to take care of their teeth. Head Start is a locally operated, federally funded program that provides a comprehensive child development program for 3-to 5-year-old children from low-income families in 98 of Iowa’s 99 counties. The program provides services to promote academic, social and emotional development, as well as providing social, health and nutrition services. Iowa Head Start serves more than 9,000 children (2015-16) in Iowa.

“Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation gives our students and their families something to smile about,” said Mary Vaske, Early Childhood Program Coordinator for Drake University Head Start. “The children get excited to begin using their toothbrush and to tell their families what they are learning at Head Start about dental care, even reminding their parents about proper brushing techniques and to avoid sugary foods.”

Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation continues to make strides towards its long-term strategic goals that focus on improving the oral health of Iowa’s children and elderly. For more information on the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation go to

About Delta Dental of Iowa

Delta Dental of Iowa is the largest and most experienced provider of dental benefits in the state. As a not-for-profit insurance company, Delta Dental of Iowa invests in oral health and wellness projects through the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation that focus on access to care, prevention, education and research. Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation’s mission is to support and improve the oral health of Iowans.

Delta Dental of Iowa is a member of the Delta Dental Plans Association, the leading national network of independent dental service corporations. The Delta Dental member companies provide dental benefits to more than 70 million Americans in more than 120,000 employee groups throughout the country. For more information, visit our website at