A recent public opinion survey commissioned by Oral Health America revealed that Americans are more likely to take a pain killer for a toothache than to consult a dentist. Oral Health America’s annual Fall for Smiles® campaign is in full swing, encouraging all Americans to maintain a healthy smile by brushing and flossing, regularly visiting the dentist, eating healthy foods, and avoiding tobacco.
—Ten thousand adults reach retirement age in the United States every day, but only two percent retain dental benefits.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.
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 movement that changes the perception that your oral health naturally fails as you age.”
According to the survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, over half of those who do not visit the dentist on a regular basis cite financial reasons or a lack of dental insurance. We cannot continue to let economics determine the oral health of our aging population. The time has come to educate Americans about the importance of oral health and encourage lawmakers to support oral health initiatives.
The oral health of the nation’s older adults has been ignored for too long, and we are proud to support OHA’s quest to bring attention to this important issue through the Fall for Smiles campaign,”
Please link to the “Fall for Smiles” website for more information.