Delta Dental Foundation delivers $1.3 million grant for improving oral health in Arkansas

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 456 views 

The Delta Dental of Arkansas Foundation on Thursday (Oct. 17) unveiled SMILES: POSSIBLE, a $1.3 million grant initiative aimed at improving Arkansans’ oral health.

The new program is part of the Foundation’s five-year strategic plan to transform communities and lives through oral health education, prevention and treatment. Eligible Arkansas-based organizations are encouraged to apply for funding now through December 16 at this link.

The Foundation established SMILES: POSSIBLE to align with key metrics of Healthy People 2020: Arkansas’s Chronic Disease Framework for Action. Specifically, the program seeks to fund 12-month projects that:

· Reduce the proportion of Arkansas adults with untreated dental decay or periodontal disease
· Increase the proportion of children and adolescents in low-income households in the state who receive preventive dental care.

“Good oral hygiene is critical to residents’ overall well-being. Yet Arkansas consistently falls in the lowest ranks for oral health,” said Chrissy Chatham, executive director of the Delta Dental of Arkansas Foundation. “This new grant program allows us to take a bite out of dental decay and gum disease in adults and increase preventive services, including exams, cleanings, and fluoride varnish, for children and adolescents in low-income households to significantly improve the health of all Arkansans.”

The Foundation will announce SMILES: POSSIBLE grant recipients in June 2020.

In addition to SMILES: POSSIBLE, the Foundation provides ongoing “Mini Grants” of up to $2,500 for oral health projects and “Community Grants” of up to $30,000 to help improve access to preventative oral health services and treatments in underserved areas.

It also funds “Super Smiles at School,” a mini-grants program that partners with early childhood centers and public schools to expand oral health education and treatment.