1. Keep Your Smile Healthy During Pregnancy

    July 29, 2014

    pregnant at dentist glovesCongratulations, you’re expecting a baby! It’s time to take special care of your body – and your smile.  If you haven’t had a chance to visit your dentist before you got pregnant, go now. Dental cleanings and treatments are safe and encouraged for pregnant women. (more…)

  2. Iowa State Fair Giveaway!

    July 24, 2014

    6123-FB-CoverPhoto-851x315_F‘Iowa State Fair – Nothing Compares’

    Isn’t that the truth?! With grandstand performances by big-name bands like Chevelle and Lady Antebellum, the 2014 Iowa State Fair is looking better than ever. Whether you’re looking forward to the food, rides, competitions or music, Delta Dental of Iowa wants to help you get there… for FREE! (more…)

  3. Relieve Cranky Canker Sores

    July 22, 2014

    woman sticking out tongueIf you’ve ever had a canker sore, you’re not alone. In fact, more than half of the population regularly experiences these small, but painful ulcers. Less than one centimeter in diameter, canker sores often affect the soft areas of the mouth, including the tongue, cheek, and lips. (more…)

  4. Why You Need Dental Insurance

    July 17, 2014

    meeting the dentistLooking for ways to keep your family healthy? Good food, exercise, and regular doctor checkups are important. But, so is dental insurance. Regular dental visits keep both your teeth and body healthy. (more…)

  5. Keeping your Child’s Mouth Safe this Summer

    July 15, 2014

    3 kids in poolThe long days and short nights of summer create the perfect conditions for outdoor fun. And while warmer weather might tear your child away from that comfy living room chair, it’s also the time of year when youth accidents are most common. (more…)

  6. Is Oil Pulling a Safe Practice?

    July 10, 2014

    oilOil pulling has been in the news and all over social media as of late. The practice of using oil to potentially help improve oral health conditions involves swishing or holding oil in your mouth to clean your teeth and gums. But does it work? (more…)

  7. Why Are We Smiling?

    July 8, 2014

    jason_billboardIf you are driving in Cedar Rapids, Dubuque or Sioux City, you might see a smiling face staring back at you. In July we are kicking off our Foundation’s “Helping Iowa Smile” Campaign around Iowa. You might see a couple of our billboards or hear our radio spots talking about the stories of a person in your community.

    When I started at Delta Dental about a year ago, I was surprised to learn of all the great work our Foundation does for Iowans. I sort of knew that the company was a not-for-profit insurance company, but I had no idea the great work that happened in communities throughout Iowa to improve the oral and overall health of Iowans.

    One of Iowa’s Best Kept Secrets

    At first, I thought that my lack of knowledge was just about my lack of knowledge. But I’ve come to believe we haven’t done a good enough job of sharing our incredible story with Iowans. A story that has Iowa’s leading dental insurance company contributing nearly $20 million to the public good since 2002. A story that touches every one of Iowa’s 99 counties and the more than 100,000 Iowans who have been served. A story that provides the passion for our team members to come to work every day knowing that they work for a cause greater than quarterly shareholder earnings – they work to improve the lives of Iowans.

    Iowans may not know about the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation. I sure didn’t when I became CEO in 2013. I thought the company did good work, but was surprised when I understood the reach of the Foundation in improving Iowa’s oral and overall health. I learned that there is a clear and solid link between oral health and overall health – and receiving dental care is one of the least expensive ways someone can impact their overall health.

    Our Foundation arrived at two key strategic goals to achieve by 2020:

    1. Eliminate cavities in kids 0-12.
    2. Make sure older adults, most often those homebound and in nursing homes, have access to dental care.

    Each of these goals would be significant on their own. Together they are critical to helping Iowans have better health outcomes.

    The goal of eliminating cavities in kids is straightforward. We need to start early, which is why our Foundation began the Dentist by 1 campaign in Black Hawk County. This program, in collaboration with area dentists, strives to promote better oral health habits for parents and their newborn children by having each child see a dentist by age one. At first I thought, why should a child see a dentist before they really have teeth? The answer is that if parents have the education they need to care for their new child – and start the lifelong habit of good oral health – over a lifetime the results are incredible. And this last year we partnered with the Department of Public Health to expand the school-based sealant program from just a few counties to almost one third of the state of Iowa.

    And why would we work to ensure seniors have access? In fact, this is a new problem for Iowans. The improvements in oral health that have happened in the past few decades have caused different challenges in working with seniors and their dental care. Frankly, 40 years ago, most homebound seniors and those at care facilities would not have had their own teeth. But as dental care has advanced, our teeth continue to be healthier and last longer. And we have helped to launch a wide-ranging coalition of care providers, non-profit and for-profit care facilities, dentists, hygienists and others to look at the program holistically.

    The Intersection of Margin and Mission

    So why would an insurance company focus its time on this? I believe there is an intersection of margin and mission. We clearly need to be profitable and build capital to protect our policyholders. But our employees’ efforts go beyond that. We have a mission to serve Iowans in making sure that we are a part of the solution to improve the overall health of the state. We continue to work on the Healthiest State Initiative because we know dental care and oral health are a key component of being the number one state in the nation in health. We work through our Foundation on key initiatives because our mission is to improve the health and smiles of the people we serve.

    So as you drive down the road and see Jason, Kaeden or Fran – the stories of real people in Sioux City, Cedar Rapids and Dubuque – remember that you can be a part of the solution as well. Email us at Foundation@deltadentalia.com if you see a need in oral health where we can work together for a solution. We engage in this work to serve Iowans because it is a part of who we are and our mission to improve the health and smiles of the people we serve. We are proud to be an Iowa company giving back to Iowans.

    kaeden_billboard  fran_billboard

  8. Finding a Dentist

    56386670_75Have you moved recently? Did your child just turn 18? Does your new job have dental benefits?

    All of these could be reasons you’re searching for a dentist.

    Well, you’re in luck. Delta Dental has the largest network of dentists in the United States, larger than any other dental carrier. If you choose a PPO dentist, you’ll usually pay less for services, and still receive great care.

    You can easily find one of our network dentists by clicking here. This will let you search different dentist’s locations. It will also show you different dentist specialties, as well as which dentists participate in the PPO network and/or Premier network. Remember, your out-of-pocket costs are less when you see a PPO dentist.

    Here are some questions to ask when you call to make your appointment:

    • What are the office hours? Make sure they’re convenient for your schedule.
    • What is the dentist’s educational background and credentials?
    • What should you expect during the first exam? Generally, you will have a conversation with the dentist about your health history, any specific concerns, and medications you’re taking. You should receive an exam, a cleaning, and perhaps some x-rays.
    • What’s the dentist’s approach to preventive dentistry?
    • What type of anesthesia is the dentist certified to administer to help you relax and feel more comfortable during any necessary dental treatment?
    • What arrangements are made for handling emergencies outside of office hours? Most dentists make arrangements with a colleague or emergency referral service if they are unable to tend to emergencies.

    Use your call as an opportunity to see how the office staff treats you. A friendly staff can help ease anxiety about a dental procedure and make your visit more enjoyable.

    What are you waiting for? Find a dentist today!

  9. Pucker Up for International Kissing Day!

    July 3, 2014

    Kissing DayJuly 6th is International Kissing Day! According to Guinness World Records, the longest kiss lasted 58 hours, 35 minutes and 58 seconds. Would your significant other want to engage in a record-breaking ‘kissathon’? Maybe, but what exactly makes a kissable mouth? Follow our kissable tips and your sweetie may want to set the new record for locking lips. (more…)

  10. Community Water Fluoridation

    July 1, 2014

    Water FluoridationAlthough cities in Iowa aren’t obligated to fluoridate water, many localities like Des Moines, Sioux City and Cedar Rapids have decided to optimize the level of fluoride in public water. (more…)

  11. Fun Facts for National Toothbrush Day

    June 26, 2014

    6.26 facts for toothbrush dayBreak out your favorite flavor of toothpaste – June 26 is National Toothbrush Day! In honor of our favorite under-celebrated holiday, we’ve rounded up a few facts about the little brush that has a big impact on your oral health.
    (more…)

  12. Reflections at the One-year Mark

    June 20, 2014

    Jeff-Headshot-200x300The month of May marked my one-year anniversary as CEO of Delta Dental of Iowa, and without question, it has been a year of new opportunities, challenges and changes. As tends to happen with milestones, I’ve taken time to reflect on how our organization and I have changed during the past year. (more…)