"Most people know that regular medical and dental check-ups are important. But most of us don't realize that the health of our mouth is important not only for our oral health, but for our overall health as well."
The Lifelong Smiles Coalition was formed to increase the access to oral health care for older Iowans. The group consists of state agencies, advocacy organizations, trade associations, health professionals, academic institutions, and funders.
In addition to strategic planning to create sustainable ways to help this population, Coalition members are working to improve education and training, care coordination, and policies.
Why This Matters
Thinking of retiring soon? Did you know that Medicare does not cover dental?
“I am so thankful I took the Mouth Care Matters class! It helped me learn why Janice did not want to eat due to sores on her tongue.
Even with 19 years of knowledge, it’s great to refresh your skills, keep an open mind and learn new things to show others how to provide better oral care for our residents.”
Direct Care Professional
Johnie is a veteran who contacted Sarah, his local I-SmileTM Silver Coordinator, because his teeth caused him a lot of pain due to a chronic mouth infection. Johnie had a hard time eating and his pain impacted his overall quality of life. He had not seen a dentist in nearly ten years because he did not have dental insurance.
Sarah managed to coordinate his care with a local dental provider and assist him with enrolling in a dental insurance program for veterans.
Johnie is now receiving the dental care that he greatly needed and reports that his headaches and infections are no longer occurring.