It is well documented that individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities may need extra help to achieve and maintain good oral health. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, tooth decay is common among individuals with developmental disabilities.
In an effort to help the 100+ clients we serve through our Life Care Plan improve their oral health, we partnered with local dentist offices to observe World Oral Health Day on March 20, 2021.
World Oral Health Day began in 2007. It is an initiative of FDI World Dental Federation, an organization that brings together the world of dentistry with the aim of achieving optimal oral health for everyone. World Oral Health Day aims to empower people with the knowledge, tools and confidence to secure good oral health. This year, the campaign theme is “Be Proud of Your Mouth.” The campaign aims to inspire change by focusing on the importance of oral health for overall health because good oral health can help one live a longer, healthier life — and that is worth taking action to achieve!
With the help of our friends at Ted A. Jowett Family Dentistry, Topeka Dentistry, Johnson County Dental Care PA, Kasiya Dental and BlueStem Dental, we took action and were able to collect and deliver bags with toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss and educational materials on how to practice good oral health to the individuals with disabilities we serve. Included in the educational materials were easy-to-read visuals from the American Dental Association on proper brushing technique.
How Arcare helps promote oral health
One of the many ways Arcare’s Life Care Plan assists individuals with disabilities in the community is through continual monitoring, advocacy and coaching. The Life Care Plan staff frequently accompanies clients to their dental appointments, coordinates with dental care staff and directs service providers to ensure appropriate dental care recommendations and techniques are followed, and coaches clients through any difficulties they may be experiencing with their dental care.
Additionally, Arcare’s Charitable Fund is proud to help individuals with disabilities access the dental care they need through grants. Certain dental procedures are not covered by Medicare, Medicaid or supplemental insurance. Even if a procedure is covered by a form of insurance, it can have costly copayments. For individuals with disabilities living on limited means and a fixed monthly income, Arcare helps bridge the gap between what the individual can afford and the dental care they need.
We look forward to celebrating World Oral Health Day in 2022 and continuing to partner with local dental practices to improve the oral health of Kansans with disabilities.