The Importance of School-Based Dental Programs

MiQuel McRae, Executive Director of Tooth BUDDS, provides in-school preventive dental services to grades K-6 in Graham and Greenlee counties in Arizona.

According to a recent survey by FDI World Dental Federation, U.S. schools rank second to last in promoting good oral health.

Poor oral health can negatively affect how a young mouth develops and leads to more than 50 million school hours being lost each year. It can also impact a child’s confidence, social skills, as well as potential for success later in life. Oral health is, therefore, essential to a child’s general health and well-being.

When asked if their child’s school provided lessons on the importance of good oral care, 53% of parents from the U.S. said this was the case. The remaining countries’ results included the United Kingdom (29%), Australia (54%), Germany (69%), China (77%), Saudi Arabia (81%), Poland (84%), Morocco and Algeria (86%), Indonesia (87%), Brazil and India (91%) and Mexico (93%). 

The good news is that 71% of parents across all countries agreed that schools should teach children about good oral care and 51% also recognized that parents play a role in oral health education.

Delta Dental of Arizona’s Foundation Provides Support to Schools

The members of the Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation board work diligently throughout the year to help support programs that provide dental services and education to children directly in schools, primarily those schools with a high level of children in the national school lunch program, including the programs below:

The need for oral health education in Arizona is great. Delta Dental of Arizona is working to expand awareness, education and support programs in all communities across the state to help keep children in school and free of dental disease. 

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