State Initiative

Iowa Dental Home Program Helps Families Access Dental Care for Babies

Mar 18, 2022

According to the State of Babies Yearbook 2021, almost 40 percent of babies in Iowa received preventative dental care last year. The state has been taking action to improve those numbers.

According to the State of Babies Yearbook 2021, almost 40 percent of babies in Iowa received preventative dental care last year. The state has been taking action to improve those numbers.

I-Smile™, a partnership between the Iowa Department of Public Health and Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation, connects pregnant women and children across the state with dental, medical, and community resources to ensure a lifetime of dental health and wellness. One component of I-Smile™, Cavity Free Iowa, is designed to increase the number of children ages 0-35 months who receive oral screening, anticipatory guidance, and fluoride varnish in medical practices. As young children often see their primary care provider on a routine basis for well child visits, embedding dental care in those services is a powerful way to increase the number of babies and toddlers receiving preventive oral health services and dental referrals. 

An additional partnership with Early Childhood Iowa (ECI) provides funding for local ECI boards to work with I-Smile™ to prevent dental disease, educate children and families, and link them to the resources they need to be healthy. This added partnership has helped nearly 8,400 children under the age of 5 receive preventive dental services and assistance finding a dentist for regular and restorative care.

Curious about how well your state takes care of young children’s dental needs? Check out the State of Babies 2021 Preventative Dental Care Indicator Comparison Tool.

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