Delta Dental of Tennessee Celebrates National Dental Hygiene Month with Oral Health Education, Toothbrush Donation

Delta Dental celebrates National Dental Hygiene Month by highlighting educational resources.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (October 19, 2023) In celebration of October as National Dental Hygiene Month, Dental of Tennessee (Delta Dental) is highlighting educational resources and programs that aim to improve the oral health of all Tennesseans. 

“It’s important to keep up good oral health habits throughout the year, and especially critical as we enter the fall, which brings Halloween candy to kick off the holidays, cold and flu season, and new school and sports schedules,” said Dr. Phil Wenk, CEO of Delta Dental of Tennessee. “Keeping up with basics such as brushing and flossing twice a day, making regular preventive visits to the dentist, and being mindful of what you eat and drink can go a long way to ensuring healthy smiles throughout the next few months and beyond.”   

Through the “Have a Healthy Smile” campaign, a partnership between Delta Dental and PBS Kids stations across Tennessee, educators, parents, and engaged kids can access a range of educational resources and activities online at any time. Topics of particular interest this time of year include nutrition and your smile; the mouth-body connection; and brushing and flossing tips.  

To help ensure that all kids have access to a toothbrush and raise awareness of the connection between nutrition and oral health, Delta Dental has donated more than 20,000 toothbrushes this year to Second Harvest Food Bank backpack programs in East and Middle Tennessee. These critical programs provide easy-to-prepare food for at-risk children on weekends and during school breaks when other resources are not available.  

“Our 15-yearlong partnership with Delta Dental has allowed Second Harvest to significantly improve the lives of our neighbors in need,” said Nancy Keil, President & CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. “Delta Dental not only supports our BackPack program, which provides food to students in need over the weekend, they also provide tens of thousands of toothbrushes to include in order to promote health and nutrition for students across Middle and West Tennessee."  

“Second Harvest is incredibly grateful for the continued support from our friends at Delta Dental. They support our programs far beyond what we could ever ask for,” said Elaine Streno, Executive Director of Second Harvest of East Tennessee. “Providing toothbrushes alongside our Food for Kids bags is one example of helping those students have a chance at a brighter future. Our food bank recognizes the importance of dental health in relation to overall health and wellbeing and we are proud to partner with Delta Dental who holds those values as well.”  

To help maintain a healthy smile throughout the year, other oral health tips and resources to keep in mind include:  

  • The best (and worst) candy for your teeth: Halloween is an exciting and fun time for kids – but it can be a scary one for dentists. But some candy is scarier for your teeth than others. Don’t miss these tips and tricks to keep the cavity monsters away this Halloween. 
  • Youth Sports Safety: Is your child playing contact sports this fall? Wearing a mouthguard helps protect their teeth and stabilize their jaw, minimizing the risk of injuries to the face. Read more about mouthguards and what to do if they do have a tooth knocked out at 
  • How Other Medical Conditions Affect Oral Health: Learn more about how medical conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease may affect your oral health. 

Click here to access Delta Dental’s full library of crafts, activities, and videos to help kids learn about oral health. For more information about Delta Dental of Tennessee, please visit 


 Delta Dental of Tennessee  
Delta Dental of Tennessee is the state’s largest independent dental benefits carrier with 1.4 million lives covered. As part of the Delta Dental Plans Association, Delta Dental of Tennessee members have access to the largest dental network in the nation with more than 154,000 providers serving more than 443,000 locations. With the simple mission of ensuring healthy smiles, Delta Dental of Tennessee works hard to help members of the communities it serves. Along with its corporate foundation, Smile180, Delta Dental of Tennessee donated more than $5.4 million in funding and in-kind services to over 110 organizations in 2022.