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Category: Blog

Addressing Social Determinants of Health to Improve Access to Oral Health Care

For many, the words, “increasing access to oral health care,” bring to mind images of free oral health screenings or mobile dental clinics. So, it may be a surprise that Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation (DDCOF) is supporting food justice, wealth building, and promotora work (promotoras are community health workers, residents, and identified leaders within […]

Oral Health Dashboard Democratizes Data

Data are crucial to understanding the oral health status of Coloradans and the barriers they face as they try to meet their oral health needs. However, often, data exist but are not readily accessible for decision-making, planning, and needs assessments. To advance oral health equity, Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation (DDCOF) is leading the way […]

Colorado General Assembly Update

Forty days and more than 400 bills and resolutions — what’s next?     Colorado is officially one-third of the way through the 74th Colorado General Assembly. While there has been no specific legislation introduced related to oral health, there are a number of bills that address significant social determinants of health and access to care that […]

Saguache County Envisions Medical-Dental Co-location

Long-time, now-retired physician David Arnett and former Saguache County Commissioner Tim Lovato have a vision. It includes restoring a 100-year-old historical building in the town of Saguache to house dental, medical, pharmacy, physical therapy, veterans, and eventually behavioral health services to serve the town of Saguache and the surrounding county. Dr. Arnett, who worked as […]

Brushing Up on Brushing Basics for Kids During Children’s Dental Health Month

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month – a month of observance that brings to the forefront the small practices and daily habits that are within reach of children and their families to keep their teeth and mouths healthy. Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation invests nearly $1 million a year in oral health prevention programs across the […]

2023 Legislative Session – Another Opportunity to Advance Oral Health Equity

Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation knows that achieving lasting oral health improvements requires advocacy and changes at a policy level. As part of our commitment to helping all Coloradans achieve their optimal oral health, we engage individuals and communities experiencing oral health inequities and disparities to identify and understand the root causes of structural and […]

Delta Dental Institute Medical-Dental Integration Models Report

There is a well-demonstrated relationship between systemic and oral health. More than 90% of all systemic diseases can be linked to oral health such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and dementia. Because of this critically important link, the integration of medical and dental care is crucial for overall patient health. In the medical-dental integration (MDI) model, […]

Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation 2022 Grantees

Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation (DDCOF) announced nearly $11 million in grants to more than 40 organizations working across the state to ensure all Coloradans have access to oral health care. The foundation awarded funds to organizations working within its three initiatives to address the root causes of oral health care inequity: prevention and preventive […]

School Dental Visits Provide Care for Young Patients: Tepeyac Community Health Center

School dental visits are critical for Colorado’s youth. A large percentage of them don’t have a dental home, and the only time they may be able to see a dentist is during school hours. Concerns surrounding transportation, communication, or finances can stand between these children and regular dental care. Whatever the barrier, school-based dental services help to bridge this gap, and Tepeyac Community Health Center provides a myriad of preventive services that help identify children with urgent dental needs. This helps the children and their families obtain additional support in an effort to get them connected to further treatment.

Tepeyac Community Health’s team conducts yearly visits to local schools. During their spring visit to Swansea and Garden Place elementary schools, they saw about 110 kids in about 5 days. Many of the kids remembered the Tepeyac team’s visit from the fall, and most who had anxiety or required a lot of patient management were excited to see them this time! 

One little girl in particular, a 3-year-old in the ECE program, wouldn’t even open her mouth during her consult in the fall. Instead, the team showed her their equipment and demo’ed brushing and flossing on a dinosaur model. Fast forward a school year and she jumped into the dental chair and said, “Mira mis dientes!” (“Look at my teeth!”) with a huge smile on her face. She remembered the team from the fall and said she had been working on brushing at home. So even though they couldn’t complete her exam in the fall, she was more than ready to see them 6 months later! 

Grant funding from Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation allows Tepeyac Community Health Center to significantly expand its capacity to provide comprehensive preventive and restorative oral health services to Tepeyac’s patient population – many of whom have had to forego oral healthcare due to a wide range of barriers.

Photo of girl smiling and point at her teeth

2022 Open Funding Grant Opportunity: Getting to the Root of Oral Health Inequity 

At Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation, we remain committed to our mission of advancing oral health equity for all Coloradans. This work is as important as ever as new data highlights how COVID-19 has significantly reduced access to and utilization of oral health care, damaging the oral health care infrastructure and workforce. This year, we […]