Rethink Your Drink
It’s now easier for students and staff at 54 Iowa schools to feel the numerous health benefits of drinking optimally fluoridated water throughout day. Through a partnership led by Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation, Elkay water bottle filling stations were recently installed in these schools to update or replace existing water fountains. In addition, more than 40 of these schools applied and received $500 to design and implement an educational campaign to encourage students to drink more water.
Photo: A student from Lincoln Elementary in Spencer Iowa fills his Delta Dental water bottle from the new water bottle filling station funded by the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation. Photo © 2018 Spencer Daily Reporter, Spencer Iowa.
More than 50 percent of children and teens in the U.S. are not properly hydrated during the school day, which can impact cognitive function and energy levels. Despite efforts by families, schools and public health agencies to educate students on better drink choices, children and teenagers often choose caffeinated beverages, sports drinks and energy drinks. By choosing optimally fluoridated water, students and staff are more alert, better hydrated, protect their tooth enamel and make their teeth more resistant to cavities.
“This investment provides opportunities for better oral and overall health for more than 28,000 Iowa students,” said Jeff Russell, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Iowa. “The ‘Rethink Your Drink’ campaign helps educate students on the benefits of drinking fluoridated water and can help reduce health care costs for their families and communities.”
Fifty-four Iowa schools received Elkay water bottle filling stations through an investment of $230,000 by Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation and supported by the Iowa Department of Public Health Bureau of Nutrition and Health Promotion, Iowa Public Health Association, Iowa Department of Education and Balfrey & Johnston, Inc.
Schools that were selected were also able to apply for an additional $500 to design and implement an educational campaign encouraging students to drink more water during the school day. Signs will draw attention to the new water bottle filling stations and “Rethink Your Drink” water bottles, toothbrushes, posters and bookmarks will be shared with students to support educational activities organized by the schools.
Other Iowa schools interested can apply for a water bottle filling station through Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation’s “Rethink Your Drink” project in early May 2018, to coincide with National Drinking Water Week.
- American Dental Association. (2015). Fluoridation Facts. Accessed July 27, 2017 at http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Member%20Center/FIles/fluoridation_facts.ashx
- Kenney, E. L., Long, M. W., Cradock, A. L., & Gortmaker, S. L. (2015) Prevalence of Inadequate Hydration Among US Children and Disparities by Gender and Race/Ethnicity: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2009-2012. American Journal of Public Health, 105, 113-118.