Springfield non-profit changes how it teaches kids the importance of dental hygiene

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A non-profit that teaches kids about dental hygiene is changing gears in response to COVID-19.

Delta Dental is offering a free virtual program available for all Missouri elementary students.

The organization says good dental hygiene is learned at a young age.

“We want to start forming healthy habits with kids when they’re young,” Allison Izsak with Delta Dental said.

Izsak says education is a key component in oral health.

“And then that serves them well for their entire life,” Izsak said.

The group recently transitioned its in-person programming into a virtual format for students.

“We have more than 100 schools across the state including several in the Springfield area who are signed up for the show,” Izsak said.

Izsak says they can reach more schools now that they’ve gone digital.

“They learn the basics about brushing and visiting their dentist for care and we measure that pre and post-show to make sure that our content is reinforcing the messages,” Izsak said.

Weaver school principal Cindy Webster says Delta Dental’s assembly is one of the most anticipated events for students.

“They provide each student with a toothbrush toothpaste and floss to take home,” Webster said.

Webster says the school is thankful the non-profit is continuing its efforts.

“A lot of our students don’t necessarily have access to maybe seeing a dentist twice a year or they’re not aware of those beginning skills of taking care of their teeth and good hygiene and so that reminder really helps kids understand the importance of taking care of their teeth when they’re young and how that affects them for a lifetime,” Webster said.

The program is free and available to all elementary schools.

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