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Dr. Matthew Wettach, a local dentist in Mount Pleasant for Family Dental Health, believes strongly in bringing healthy smiles to local children in Iowa through the I-Smile program.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, untreated tooth decay affects about 25 percent of children aged 3 to 9 living in poverty. The I-Smile Dental Home Initiative is a program that helps Iowa's children connect with dental services. The Iowa Department of Public Health, the Iowa Department of Human Services, the University of Iowa College of Dentistry, and the Iowa Dental Association created the I-Smile; which uses a team approach of health professionals. Dr. Wettach is part of that dental home team locally and volunteers to provide dental screenings in local schools.

I-Smile has four objectives:

  • Improve the dental Medicaid program

  • Recruit and retain dentists in underserved areas

  • Incorporate dental clinics within rural hospitals and

  • Improve the dental support system for families

The outcome of the I-Smile Dental Home Initiative will be an integrated system that provides early identification of the risks of dental disease, prevention, improved care coordination, and stronger parental involvement. Ultimately, at-risk children who are currently excluded from the dental care system will be reached and will have a dental home. The I-Smile program aims to provide both direct services to low-income children and oral health education to parents and guardians.

According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 19 percent of adolescents aged 2 to 19 have untreated dental caries; and 42 percent of children aged 2 to 11 have had caries in their primary teeth, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Dr. Matthew Wettach encourages regular dental visits for the family; by establishing healthy habits today, your family can have a healthy mouth for life.


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