Vermont Head Start Early Head Start Tooth Tutor Program Benefits from Northeast Delta Dental Support
The Northeast Delta Dental Foundation awarded the Vermont Department of Health’s Head Start Early Head Start Tooth Tutor Dental Access Program an $84,000 grant for a third consecutive year. This state-wide program communicates effectively to children and their parents that oral health is important, both from the standpoint of preventive at-home care and the need for regular dental office visits.
The Tooth Tutor program improves oral health outcomes for children from low income families served by Head Start. The Tooth Tutors, registered dental hygienists, work with Head Start children and families to assist in locating dental homes for children, provide oral health activities that help children become comfortable with going to the dentist, allay parents’ concerns or anxieties around going to the dentist, and work with local dental practices to help expedite dental exams and treatment for Head Start children.
For several years, this oral health program had been funded by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. When this funding was no longer available, the Northeast Delta Dental Foundation began providing funds to keep the program operating.
Many community organizations support the Vermont Head Start Early Head Start Tooth Tutor Program, including the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity, which serves as the fiscal agent for the grant.