Improving Children's Health
One of the many ways Delta Dental of Michigan is helping to improve oral health of children is to foster public-private partnerships to improve the oral health of those who suffer disproportionately from oral diseases.
Significant examples of our commitment to improving the oral health of underserved children are the Healthy Kids Dental and MIChild programs, both of which are partnerships with the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH).
Healthy Kids Dental replaces the children’s Medicaid dental program in 65 Michigan counties and has been named one of five national models for improving access to dental care for low-income populations. Delta Dental of Michigan administers the program.
MIChild was developed in 1998 by the State of Michigan to provide low-cost health and dental benefits to the state’s uninsured children who don’t qualify for Medicaid. Delta Dental is one of MIChild’s benefit administrators.
Both programs are unique in the public health arena because they use Delta Dental’s commercial dental networks and integrate those they cover into the same system of care used by people with employer-sponsored dental coverage.
Children’s Oral Health Programs
Delta Dental supports a number of MDCH programs designed to promote children’s oral health. A few of these programs include: Seal! Michigan, the Maternal Infant Health Program and Varnish! Michigan. Seal! Michigan provides sealants to students in schools across Michigan. The Maternal Infant Health Program trains home-visiting nurses in infant oral health and the application of fluoride varnish to children’s teeth. Varnish! Michigan was developed by MDCH in 2007, with a grant from Delta Dental, to provide free fluoride varnish treatments to Early Head Start and Head Start children throughout the state.
Delta Dental also sponsors a youth mouthguard program for young people participating in sports camps to promote the importance of wearing a mouth guard to protect against mouth injuries and concussions.