The Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation and Arizona PBS have announced the winners of the inaugural Children’s Writing Contest, which is part of a larger “Healthy Smiles” campaign to promote good oral health to children across the state. Through the program, kids in pre-K through third grade were invited to write and illustrate a story about having healthy teeth, gums and a great smile. Among the winners is Pre-K student Twyla Hage of Fort Mohave, who was awarded an Arizona PBS KIDS and Delta Dental gift basket of dental care items as well as children’s books and a PBS KIDS stuffed animal.
Through the contest and a series of free events, the statewide campaign centered on boosting family involvement in good oral health practices, focusing on the importance of brushing twice a day, changing toothbrushes regularly and visiting the dentist twice a year. A series of free events were held from February to September in rural areas including Bullhead City, Grand Canyon, Lake Havasu City, Parker, Prescott Valley, Safford, San Luis, Somerton, Tucson, and Yuma. Each event featured PBS characters, educational crafts, activities, and giveaways for children up to age 8. Local dental professionals also offered free dental screenings and fluoride varnish treatments.