LANSING — The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) and Delta Dental of Michigan this week launched a new public service campaign, “A healthy mouth means a healthier you,” to raise awareness among Michigan residents that good dental habits will help people stay healthy.
The campaign features television, radio and print public service announcements, as well as informational posters and brochures printed in English, Spanish and Arabic. The messages are targeted at certain demographic groups that experience higher than average rates of dental decay, gum disease, tooth loss and oral cancer.
“Research increasingly shows that good oral care, including regular visits to the dentist, can prevent dental disease and can help keep other diseases, like diabetes, in check,” said MDCH Director Janet Olszewski.
“While many Michigan citizens enjoy good oral health, there is a silent epidemic of dental disease among certain socio-economic and minority groups,” says Jed Jacobson, D.D.S., M.S., M.P.H., chief science officer at Delta Dental. “We hope this information will help them better understand that they can take steps to improve their oral health, and by doing that, enhance their overall health.”
This is the third major collaboration in the past few years between MDCH and Delta Dental. Since 2000, Delta Dental has administered MDCH’s successful Healthy Kids Dental program for Medicaid-eligible children in 59 Michigan counties. The American Dental Association named Healthy Kids Dental a national model for improving access to dental care for low-income populations.
In 2007, MDCH launched a fluoride varnish program for Head Start and Early Head Start enrollees with a $250,000 grant from Delta Dental. Department officials hope the varnish applications will reduce decay between 48 and 60 percent in up to 22,000 Michigan children.