CHARLESTON, W.Va. _ The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation has awarded the West Virginia Department of Education $105,250 to promote the importance or good oral health and deliver quality oral health educational programs to schools and country school wellness councils.
West Virginia leads the nation in the percentage of adults who have had at least one permanent tooth pulled because of infection or decay, as well as the percentage of adults 65 and older with no teeth. Such problems often are the result of poor dental care as children.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 61.4 percent of West Virginia adults visited dentists in 2006, down from 62.5 percent in 2004. The state ranks 47th with only three states reporting fewer visits: Oklahoma, Mississippi and Arkansas. Statistics also show children with parents who go to the dentist are more likely to receive dental care because adults are the ones who make the appointments.
The Department of Education plans to award mini-grants to school wellness councils as well as provide professional development opportunities for educators.
The Pittsburgh-based Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation is an independent foundation established in 1944 by West Virginia natives Michael and Sarah Benedum.
Contact the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699 for more information.