Smiles@School Program

Bringing Oral Health to
Minnesota First-Graders

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Smiles@School is a statewide initiative of Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation to support children’s oral health through education, prevention and dental sealant programs in schools.

Although largely preventable, tooth decay is the single-most common chronic childhood disease. The Minnesota Department of Health reports that in 2015, half of Minnesota third-graders have or have had tooth decay.

In its second year, the Smiles@School first-grade program provides sports backpacks filled with fun oral health tools and a booklet available for every Minnesota first-grader, as well as free lesson plans and videos for their teachers.


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Losing Your Teeth

Why we lose baby teeth.

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Hardened Plaque

Why brushing and flossing is important and what happens to plaque when left on teeth over time.

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Going to the Dentist

What to expect when visiting the dentist.

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Tooth-Friendly Snacks

Learn about tooth-friendly foods and those containing added sugar.

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Rethink Your Drink

The surprising amount of sugar found in common beverages.

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How To Brush

Learn the proper way to brush teeth.

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What is a Cavity?

What cavities are and how to prevent them.

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How to Floss

Learn the proper way to floss teeth.

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About the Program

Graphic with 5x and image of lungs

Dental disease is 5 times more prevalent than asthma

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7 times more common than allergies like hay fever.

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More than 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental disease, leading to increases in educational disparity and decreases in productivity.

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An estimated one in four U.S. children ages five to eleven may be affected by tooth decay, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Preventive treatments—many of which can be offered in schools—such as fluoride varnish and sealants have been shown to prevent an additional 33% of decay on primary teeth