Transylvania Public Health received a $2,500 grant from the Delta Dental Foundation to support its Healthy Smiles dental program for children in Transylvania County.

The Healthy Smiles dental hygienist provides age-appropriate dental health education, screenings for dental decay and supplies such as toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss for children in all county preschools and day cares and all kindergarten and 3rd grade students in Transylvania County Schools. When needed, she refers children to dental care and helps coordinate appointments. Healthy Smiles is a collaboration with Transylvania Public Health, the NC Oral Health Section, local dental practices, regional hospitals, childcare centers, preschools and elementary schools.

“We appreciate the support of Delta Dental in our efforts to address preventative dental care in our youngest children,” said Transylvania County Health Director, Elaine Russell. “Transylvania County has focused on improving dental health for the past few years, and we are making progress in this population. For instance, we have seen the average number of decayed, missing, or filled teeth among kindergarteners decrease by almost 10% since 2009. However, we still have work ahead of us to achieve the Healthy North Carolina 2020 target, and this grant allows us to continue important efforts in an area that’s often overlooked.”

The Delta Dental Foundation focuses on ensuring that children and adults in North Carolina receive high-quality oral health education and dental care. The Transylvania Public Health grant is one of 17 grants totaling $40,000 awarded to North Carolina nonprofits providing oral health programs. Grant recipients were selected based on criteria that included the number of at-risk children served, the uniqueness of the program, the level of community involvement in the program and the ability to measure results.

“We know that, in Transylvania County, the availability of care from local, private dental practices is limited for Medicaid patients,” Delta Dental of North Carolina CEO Curtis Ladig said. “We are pleased that our foundation can support Transylvania County’s work to increase access to dental screenings and care, which can help improve the oral and overall health and well-being of children by preventing serious health issues down the road.”

About the Delta Dental Foundation
The Delta Dental Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization established in 1980, which serves as the philanthropic arm of Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and North Carolina. The foundation’s goals are to support education and research for the advancement of dental science, and to promote the oral health of the public through education and service activities, particularly for those with special needs. For more information, visit

About Delta Dental of North Carolina
Delta Dental of North Carolina is a nonprofit dental service corporation created in 1970 to provide dental benefits throughout the state. Its mission is to improve the oral health of the communities it serves. It does so by providing affordable access to oral health care with the largest network of providers, including two out of every three dentists, in North Carolina.