Before you know it schools in the Hannibal-Quincy area will be back in session and the hot summer of 2012 will be history. Speaking of history, no one wants their children’s teeth to be history.  With that said, it’s not too soon to be thinking about getting your child’s dental checkup. In Illinois, all children in kindergarten, second or sixth grade are required to have a dental checkup. Dental checkups help with the early detection and treatment of dental disease and promote the importance of a healthy mouth for school readiness and learning.

According to a news release from the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation, more than 51 million school hours are lost each year by students whose dental-related illnesses cause them to stay home or seek care. In cases where pain is not intense enough to keep children out of school, it can still distract them in the classroom.

The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation launched the “Dentist By 1” campaign to educate parents about the benefits of taking their children to the dentist by age 1.  According to the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation’s news release as part of the campaign, Illinois parents and caregivers can help local, underprivileged children. The release states that for each person who pledges to take their child to the dentist by age 1, or to regular dental visits for older children, the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation will donate an oral health kit, with a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss, to a local children’s charitable organization. Parents who pledge will also receive a kit. Pledges can be made until Oct. 31st at www.DentistBy1.com.

Delta Dental of Illinois is a non-profit dental service corporation based in Naperville, Illinois.