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Older Americans Not Receiving the Oral Health Care They Need
Date:9/3/2013

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) September 03, 2013

Ten thousand adults reach retirement age in the United States every day, but only two percent retain dental benefits. As older adults continue to age, other health problems complicate oral care, exacerbating already existing oral health issues, stretching already small budgets, and often making just getting to a dentist difficult. For those who end up in a nursing home or other long-term care facility, regular dental care is even harder to come by, with few facilities in the country prioritizing oral health for their residents.

Results from a new public opinion survey commissioned by Oral Health America (OHA) and sponsored by Oral Healthcare Can't Wait, 3M ESPE, and Crest + OralB give further evidence to what is becoming a crisis for America's older adult population. According to the survey, almost half of older adults with a household income of $35,000 or less have not been to the dentist in the past two years. In addition, 35 percent of low-income older adults have gone four years or more between dental visits. These troubling statistics are why OHA is focusing on older adults during its fourth annual Fall for Smiles® campaign, which encourages all Americans to maintain good oral health by brushing and flossing, regular dental visits, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding tobacco.

“Extensive research has shown us that oral health is inextricably tied to overall health, making it even more important for older adults to maintain a healthy mouth," said OHA President and CEO Beth Truett. "With this year's Fall for Smiles campaign, we hope to highlight the emerging crisis caused by lack of dental care for seniors and start a moveme
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