Delta Dental distribution

Delta Dental representatives prepare boxes of toothbrushes for delivery. The toothbrushes are being sent to libraries throughout Minnesota. Photo courtesy Delta Dental of Minnesota

MANKATO — When North Mankato Taylor Library staff opened a box that arrived in Monday's mail, they guessed its contents will be as popular as a best-selling novel.

The package contained about 175 toothbrushes from Delta Dental of Minnesota. Library patrons will find the adult-size brushes available at the library's main desk.

“We will just set them out for people to take. I think they will just fly out the door,” said Angela Kelly, assistant library director.

June is National Smile Month and to celebrate, Delta Dental — a nonprofit health service plan corporation — distributed thousands of the free toothbrushes to more than 300 public libraries in the state.

Toothbrushes should arrive soon at the library in St. Peter, which is connected to the town's community center.

Brenda McHugh, assistant lead librarian/children’s librarian, said her workspace in St. Peter Public Library is a central hub for the town and a great place to provide all kinds of resources for the public.

Recipients will not be required to show their library cards or ask librarians for toothbrushes. They will have to watch for them to be displayed on a table or shelf.

Since public libraries have long been resources for health care information, using them as partners in its promotion made sense, Delta Dental said in a press release.

“Libraries remain a cornerstone of Minnesota’s community building as they have for many, many generations,” said Rodney Young, chief executive officer and president at Delta Dental of Minnesota in a statement.

Tim Hayes, director of Blue Earth County Library, said his staff has not yet decided how to distribute the toothbrushes.

Partnering in a give-away such as Delta Dental's is a program new to his libraries, said Hayes, adding he's happy to help promote oral-health awareness.

Branch libraries in Lake Crystal and Mapleton also will be stocked with free toothbrushes, Hayes said.

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