Children's Museum of Phoenix & Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation Celebrate National Children's Dental Health Month

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Special Appearances Planned by Molar Man!

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Reaching out into the community and educating them, not only on how play and learning work hand in hand in a child's development, but also on a wide variety of topics including issues that affect the health of our children, is an integral part of our vision.

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Tuesday, February 3rd marks the kick off of Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation's Dental Health Month at the Children's Museum of Phoenix. In celebration of February's designation for the past 60 years as National Children's Dental Health Month, Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation will be sponsoring a host of activities at the Children's Museum throughout February.

Dr. Gary Johnson a.k.a. Molar Man will make the first of eight appearances at the Museum on Tuesday, February 3rd at 10am. Dr. Johnson will present two educational shows per day for children about tooth health, showing children how to brush, and introducing them to what a trip to the dentist is like. Coloring books, in both English and Spanish, will be distributed to show attendees by Molar Man during these appearances.

The Children's Museum's February programs will include activities related to all things dental. Visitors to the Art Studio will find hands-on activities related to the mouth, teeth, and oral health. The Museum's Junior League of Phoenix Classroom will explore dental related topics such as the examination of animal teeth and experiments that show what effects calcium and acid have on teeth. Story times, held daily in the Art Studio and the Book Loft, will revolve around books about teeth (i.e. Dr. Seuss' The Tooth Book).

Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation is providing all Museum visitors, including adults, with a dental "goody" bag with toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, and educational literature among other items.

Children will also be able to capture their dazzling smiles at the free Photo Station that will be available onsite on February 3rd, 19th and 28th.

Molar Man's appearances (schedule attached) will coincide primarily with the timing of Title 1 School Field Trips to the Museum. Providing these products and educational services to this particular segment of the population is an integral part of Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation's sponsorship of this event, and the Museum's Every Child Program, designed to ensure Museum access for all children.

"Tooth decay is the number one chronic childhood disease but is totally preventable. We work helping parents and children understand the connection between good oral health, lifelong dental hygiene practices, and a long healthy life," explains Dr. Sandi Perez, Vice President of Philanthropy for Delta Dental Arizona Foundation. "Parents want to know how to best take care of their children's teeth and we know learning in such a fun and creative environment as the Children's Museum is a wonderful way to reach them."

"We are very excited to be working with Delta Dental's Foundation on this extremely important topic," said Deborah Gilpin, President and CEO of the Children's Museum of Phoenix. "Reaching out into the community and educating them, not only on how play and learning work hand in hand in a child's development, but also on a wide variety of topics including issues that affect the health of our children, is an integral part of our vision."

Molar Man appearance schedule:
All appearances are 10am to 1pm
Tuesday, February 3rd
Friday, February 6th
Tuesday, February 10th
Wednesday, February 11th
Thursday, February 19th
Friday, February 20th
Tuesday, February 24th
Saturday, February 28th

The Children's Museum of Phoenix is located in the historic Monroe School Building at 215 N. 7th Street in downtown Phoenix. The Museum opened to the public on June 14, 2008 and offers 35,000 square feet of hands-on, fun and educational activities for children ages birth to 10. The mission of the Museum is to engage the minds, muscles and imaginations of children and the grown-ups who care about them. The Museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays, 9am to 4pm. Admission is $9 per person, children under the age of 1 are free. The Children's Museum of Phoenix is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information visit http://www.childrensmuseumofphoenix.org.

AZTEP Department of Services for Persons with Disabilities conducted an accessibility evaluation in August 2008 and summarized, "the Children's Museum of Phoenix is the most exceptionally disability-aware arts institution this evaluator has ever surveyed."

About Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation
Evidence-based prevention strategies that reduce oral disease such as fluoride varnish treatments, dental sealants, and oral health education are the focus of the Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation. Grants support programs providing fluoride varnish treatments for young children at risk for cavities. School-based programs reach children without dental insurance with dental screenings and sealants, and targeted initiatives affecting oral health in middle and high school aged students reduce at risk behaviors adversely affecting oral health. In the past decade, the Foundation has given back more than $2.2 million to the community to combat oral disease in Arizona. For more information on the Foundation, please visit http://www.deltadentalaz.com/foundation.

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Linda Schmidt

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