Kentuckyoralhealth 2018-03-06T10:41:13+00:00

View the Making Smiles Happen®: 2016 Oral Health Study of Kentucky’s Youth report using the flipbook above or by DOWNLOADING A PDF.

View the project overview HERE.


During the 2015-2016 school year, Delta Dental of Kentucky’s Making Smiles Happen® initiative launched a statewide children’s oral health study. Delta Dental of Kentucky partnered with Kentucky Youth Advocates, the University of Louisville School of Dentistry, and other key partners to collect data on the oral health status of over 2,000 3rd and 6th grade children. The data provided state and regional pictures of the oral health needs of children in the state. This is the first study of this kind conducted since 2001.


Overall, the 2016 study found that despite some progress,
too many Kentucky children suffer from poor oral health.


Develop comprehensive goals and objectives for a statewide oral health plan.

Launch regional networks to develop local, data-driven solutions.

Establish school-based sealant programs in all high needs schools.

Promote oral health literacy campaigns.

Regularly collect state and county-level oral health data.


Delta Dental of Kentucky desires the data from the study to inform action in local communities to improve oral health. Partnering with Kentucky Youth Advocates, Delta Dental plans to engage local communities in conversations and effort around how to improve the oral health status of children in Kentucky. An exciting next step will be five regional oral health summits planned for spring 2017 to discuss the study results with local community leaders and collectively create an action plan for oral health improvement in local communities.

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The following partners made this project possible in meaningful ways.


The Making Smiles Happen: 2016 Oral Health Study of Kentucky’s Youth has been featured in many media stories across the state. See the links below.


The Making Smiles Happen: 2016 Oral Health Study of Kentucky’s Youth provides an in-depth look at Kentucky’s oral health status among children and evidence-based strategies for improving oral health in our state. If you have questions or would like more information regarding the report, please email


Order a copy of Making Smiles Happen®: 2016 Oral Health Study of Kentucky’s Youth report by filling out the order form.

Books are also available for pickup at Kentucky Youth Advocates’ office, 10200 Linn Station Rd Suite 310, Louisville KY 40223 during business hours. For questions about book orders, please email