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Healthy Learning Starts with a Healthy Smile

“Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease today, and children miss 51 million hours of school every year due to dental issues. The Delta Dental Foundation will help nonprofit organizations expand their reach and provide children with better access to the dental care they need to show up to school healthy and ready to learn.”  - Curt Ladig, CEO of Delta Dental of North Carolina

Smiles for Kids Grants Program

Through the Smiles for Kids program, the Delta Dental Foundation has been providing grants to not-for-profit organizations throughout North Carolina to help fund dental education initiatives and programs designed to promote children’s oral health, especially to those in underserved areas.

The Smiles for Kids program has awarded about $300,000 to programs across the state, ensuring that more than 200,000 children and their families received access to oral health care or education. 

2019 Smiles for Kids Grant Recipients

  • Alamance County Children’s Dental Health Center
  • Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education
  • Cabarrus Health Alliance
  • Dental Foundation of North Carolina, Inc.
  • FirstHealth of the Carolinas Dental Care  
  • Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services
  • National Children’s Oral Health Foundation (America’s ToothFairy)  
  • New Hanover County Health Department 
  • North Carolina Dental Society Foundation
  • Orange County Health Department Dental Clinic  
  • Randolph County Health Department
  • Reach Out and Read Carolinas
  • Rowan County Health Department Smile Center 
  • Shelter Health Services    
  • Smart Start of New Hanover County
  • Special Olympics North Carolina
  • Transylvania County Department of Public Health 
  • Wake County via Department of Human Services 
  • Wilkes Public Health Dental Clinic


In considering grants, the Delta Dental Foundation evaluates each application on its own merits. It considers the programs in which the organization is engaged, the constituencies it serves, the services it offers, its accountability and its fundraising practices, and the level of local community support it attracts.

Although exceptions may be made, in general, grants are not provided for building construction or to cover an organization’s normal overhead expenses. Primary consideration is given to supporting meritorious programs or activities for which other sources of funding are unavailable. Grant recipients may reapply in future years, as long as a report detailing use/impact of the grant monies is provided with the application.

  • Smiles for Kids grants program is limited to a maximum of $5,000 per grant.
  • Grants must be dedicated to local not-for-profit programs designed to promote oral health in North Carolina.
  • Of particular interest are programs designed to promote/improve the oral health of underserved or at-risk populations and to those which have an oral health education component.
  • Only one proposal per organization per year will be considered.

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For more information about the Delta Dental Foundation's Grants