mighty mouth

Medicare and Oral Health

Question:

Does basic Medicare cover regular dental visits?
A)    Yes
B)    No
C)    I’m not sure…

If you answered A or C, you aren’t alone, as a recent Washington Dental Service Foundation survey showed 51% of respondents in Spokane believe Medicare covers dental. However, you would be wrong.

Correct answer: B) No, basic Medicare does not cover dental, and a lot of folks entering retirement are learning this the hard way. A recent article in The Spokesman Review talks about what steps folks approaching retirement should take for their oral health.

Good oral health relates to a lot more than just our teeth; our ability to chew effects the nutrition we receive, our ability to smile effects our confidence, and chronic conditions like Type 2 Diabetes can exacerbate dental decay.

Organizations like Smile Spokane, WDSF’s The Mighty Mouth, and our subsidiary Better Health Together's DENT program are helping connect folks to the dental care they need, but for lasting change, we need a health care system that includes our mouths in our health. To learn more about EHF’s involvement in our community's oral health, view our Oral Health Access Document here. 

Teeth Week – “You’re healthier with a healthy mouth”

More than 50 community leaders gathered at McKinstry on Monday, November 9th to celebrate a successful Teeth Week.  Teeth Week was October 17-25 and is part of the Mighty Mouth campaign that is building awareness statewide that oral health is an essential part of overall health.  In addition to focusing on the value of good oral health, the goal of the campaign is to motivate people to take individual action to prevent oral disease. 

During Teeth Week, more than 35 organizations helped to deliver oral health messages.  Activities included the SmileMobile at the Salvation Army to serve adults; with the help from the Spokane District Dental Society, oral health messages were delivered in 70 schools; there were storytimes in the libraries as well information distributed at the YMCA and Mobius Kids; and seniors were reached through the YMCA Senior Sneakers and through the Safe Foundation.

Awareness about the importance of good Oral Health is all the more important in Spokane where 40% of our children have experienced dental decay by kindergarten and one-third of our seniors have lost all their teeth.

Empire Health Foundation was proud to be a supporter of Teeth Week and is pleased to partner with Washington Dental Service Foundation on overall Oral Health efforts. 

This video highlights the importance of Oral Health in Spokane.