Tooth decay is the leading chronic infectious disease among children in our nation. It causes pain and can interfere with a child’s ability to eat, speak, smile and concentrate, and has the potential to affect one’s systemic health. To help combat this issue, Delta Dental of Missouri is educating and inspiring children to adopt healthy life habits through its upbeat and interactive, touring “Land of Smiles” program. Thanks to the newly-established collaboration with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services’ (DHSS) Preventive Services Program, the show now also underscores the importance of fluoride varnishes. The 2013 tour made its most recent stop at Augusta Elementary in Augusta.
The “Land of Smiles” show features the Tooth
Wizard and his ongoing crusade to help kids have healthy teeth. The show’s characters
get the children excited about brushing and flossing properly and visiting the
Tooth Wizard’s “best friend,” the dentist. They also discuss what foods are
good and bad for teeth and overall health, the importance of having fluoride
varnishes applied to teeth, eating right, exercising daily and making healthy
The Tooth Wizard came bearing gifts for the students at this elementary school. Each child was sent home with a “smile bag” from Delta Dental, packed with a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, an educational coloring sheet and a mirror decal reminding them to brush twice each day. After the show, the school nurse received a Land of Smiles curriculum kit that can be used to help reinforce the good oral health messages of the show in the classroom. The kit includes a mouth model and large toothbrush, four children’s books, a sing-a-long CD and a Land of Smiles DVD.
“This cast of characters has been traveling Missouri highways for more than a decade teaching and inspiring kids in nearly every county in the state,” commented Monica Green, manager, marketing and communications for Delta Dental of Missouri. “But, the program is about more than longevity. It’s about having a proven track record for resonating with children and being a catalyst for change. Dental disease is 100 percent preventable. The formula is simple. You need to brush twice daily, floss and see a dentist twice a year. Other preventive measures can also be taken, like the application of fluoride varnish, which strengthens the teeth and helps prevent decay. The Missouri DHSS has a fantastic Preventive Services Program that is also working with schools to provide young students with free access to this type of care.”
Between now and the end of the school year, two
separate “Land of Smiles” casts will collectively teach more than 65,000
students at over 320 schools across the state of Missouri.
To learn more about this program, or if you are interested in hosting the award-winning Land of Smiles program at your school, have your child’s teacher, principal or school nurse call 888-383-0008 or visit the Community page on Delta Dental’s web site, www.deltadentalmo.com.
Delta Dental is the dental benefits leader in Missouri and the U.S. Ninety-six percent of Missouri dentists participate in a Delta Dental network and 4 out of 5 dentists participate nationally. In Missouri, more than 1.3 million members in over 1,800 companies, large and small, choose Delta Dental. Nationally, nearly 1 in 3 families with dental benefits choose Delta Dental - 56 million members from nearly 96,000 companies. Delta Dental is also committed to improving the oral health and overall health of the children in our community and therefore proudly supports the Delta Dental Health Theatre, Give Kids A Smile and Delta Dental’s Land of Smiles educational touring theater program. To learn more about Delta Dental of Missouri visit www.deltadentalmo.com.