Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation Provides Oral Health Education Through Smiles@School First Grade Backpack Program
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February 1st, 2022

Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation Provides Oral Health Education Through Smiles@School First Grade Backpack Program

MINNEAPOLIS (Tue, Feb 1, 2022)– For a 6th year, Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation, through their Smiles@School first-grader program, is providing more than 28,000 backpacks to be distributed to 380 elementary schools across the State of Minnesota.

Each backpack contains oral health items: a toothbrush, fluoridated toothpaste, an age-appropriate oral health educational booklet, and more.

The goal of the Smiles@Schools program is to get kids on the right track for strong lifelong oral health practices.

“Tooth decay is the most common childhood disease – even more common than asthma or allergies. Teaching children to take care of their teeth from a young age, sets them up for good oral health and overall health habits for life,” says Dr. Eileen Crespo, Vice President of Medical Services at Delta Dental of Minnesota.

“Our Smiles@School program wouldn’t be possible without the collaboration and effort from local community partners and teachers,” said Joe Lally, Executive Director of Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation. “School-based programs are a proven method of delivering important information during critical habit-forming years.”

The Smiles@School kits are created in partnership with Minnesota Diversified Industries (MDI), a non-profit social enterprise business based in Minneapolis, Minnesota where nearly half of MDI’s employees are people with disabilities.

About Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation

Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation is founded on the belief that everyone deserves a healthy smile. In 2009, Delta Dental of Minnesota’s parent organization sold a company and used 100% of the proceeds to establish and fund the Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation. The foundation’s mission is to improve the wellbeing of Minnesotans through oral health. To date, the foundation has invested more than $35 million to expand prevention and care, reaching more than 1 million people to promote healthy smiles statewide.

About MDI

MDI is a trusted Minnesota manufacturer and nonprofit social enterprise with the mission to provide employment opportunities and services for people with disabilities. We create high-quality plastic containers to ship, pack and store products, and offer unparalleled product assembly and packaging services for organizations across the country, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. By offering an inclusive workplace that allows employees to build confidence, independence and purpose, MDI’s work results in dedicated employees and satisfied customers. To learn more, visit