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Community program makes no-cost cavity prevention treatments available for children in Cook County

May 02, 2019 09:27AM ● By Editor

Media Release from the North Shore Healh Care Foundation - May 2, 2019

Community program makes no-cost cavity prevention treatments available for children in Cook County

The North Shore Health Care Foundation’s Oral Health Task Force provides oral health education, free screenings and low-cost care to Cook County kids. 

Children in Cook County and on the Grand Portage Reservation are eligible to receive dental fluoride treatments at no cost through a local task force aimed at reducing gaps in oral health care for children. Beginning May 3, dental hygienists will visit schools and Head Start programs to provide the treatments, which prevent tooth decay.

In 2011, the North Shore Health Care Foundation established the Oral Health Task Force to provide dental care to the children of Cook County and the Grand Portage Reservation. Since then, more than 600 children have been screened annually and nearly 90% of the children served in the region are cavity-free. This program is supported by grants from the Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation, which recently granted an additional $100,000 to address oral health care gaps for children in Cook County.

The upcoming fluoride treatments are scheduled at the following area schools:

  • May 3: Grand Portage Head Start and Oshki Ogimaag Charter School
  • May 13: Sawtooth Mountain Elementary School in Grand Marais
  • May 17: Great Expectations Charter School in Grand Marais

Healthy teeth are an integral part of a child’s overall well-being. The lack of dental care can affect children’s speech, nutrition, growth and development.

“Tooth decay is the most common childhood disease. Even though it is easily preventable, not all communities in Minnesota have access to the care they need,” said Joe Lally, Executive Director of the Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation. “Our mission is to support organizations like the Oral Health Task Force that help address these gaps and offer innovative ways to reach the families in their community. This grant is part of an overall effort to increase access to dental care throughout Minnesota.”

The task force hopes to provide a successful model for other organizations in rural areas to partner with the philanthropic community to deliver preventive care in school and early childhood settings.

“Our goal is to ensure every child in Cook County and the Grand Portage Reservation has access to complete oral health care regardless of their caregivers’ ability to pay,” said Paul Nelson, task force chair. “This quick one-minute treatment creates the foundation for healthy teeth and overall well-being for the kids in our community.”

For the children to receive the fluoride treatments, parents and caregivers should complete the authorization form sent by the child’s school. For more information, visit

About Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation

Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation is founded on the belief that everyone deserves a healthy smile. In 2009, Delta Dental of Minnesota’s parent organization sold a company and used 100 percent of the proceeds to establish and fund the foundation. The foundation’s mission is to improve the wellbeing of Minnesotans through oral health. To date, the foundation has invested more than $35 million to expand prevention and care, reaching more than 1 million people to promote healthy smiles statewide.


Cali Owings
Senior Account Executive
D 651-717-4196
C 920-285-6234

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