Grants available for nonprofits seeking to improve oral health |

Grants available for nonprofits seeking to improve oral health

Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation (DDCOF) has released a request for applications from Colorado nonprofit organizations interested in implementing projects or seeking general operating support to improve oral health equity and interactions in their communities. Applications are due by midnight Monday, July 15.

There are large disparities related to oral health in Colorado based on race/ethnicity, age, income and geography. Seven rural Colorado counties have no dental services. According to the Colorado Health Institute:

Only 63 percent of low-income Coloradans report both good physical and oral health status.

Nearly two-thirds of Coloradans over the age of 75 do not have dental insurance.

Only 51 percent of African Americans visited the dentist last year compared to 66 percent of all Coloradans.

Fifty-eight percent of Hispanic third-graders have had at least one cavity, compared to 38 percent of white third-graders.

This funding opportunity prioritizes both innovative and traditional (e.g. direct services, care coordination, oral health education) solutions to advance oral health equity for all, especially those not covered by insurance or who lack access to convenient care. It is open to organizations statewide. Applications between $10,000 – $100,000 per year for up to three years will be considered. The request for applications is available online at

• DDCOF will fund the following:

• Community-based interventions

• Clinical interventions and dental equipment

• Education and awareness programs

• Programs and activities that increase access to affordable, accessible and comprehensive oral health; aim to prevent tooth decay in young children, from birth through age 10, and pregnant women; and prioritize oral health care for adults age 60+.

• Proven or unproven efforts to meet community need.

• Traditional methods proven to improve oral health.

In 2018, Delta released its first open funding opportunity and allocated $3.4 million over three years to 29 Colorado nonprofits to improve oral health in local communities. Of the 29 grantees, 14 are located in urban areas of Colorado, 11 in rural areas and four provide services statewide.

“Our vision for oral health equity is that everyone has the opportunity to have a healthy smile,” said Megan Wilson, interim executive director of Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation. “Colorado is facing real oral health challenges, and it’s clear that the status quo won’t suffice. The grant applications we received last year revealed a critical need for oral health care for the uninsured, better alignment of oral health to broader health care and education systems, and improvements in Coloradans’ understanding of good oral hygiene. As our grantees embark on solutions to address oral health inequities, we hope this new funding opportunity connects us to additional partnerships that lead to a healthier Colorado.”

In addition to providing annual open funding opportunities, DDCOF funds a variety of projects that address oral health inequities. This includes the Colorado Medical-Dental Integration Project, funding the Frontier Center 4 Health at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine and partnering with other foundations to fund Cavity Free at Three, a program at the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment.

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