Oral Health America's mission is to connect communities
with resources to increase access to care, education
and advocacy for all Americans, especially
those most vulnerable. OHA's newest program, the Wisdom
Tooth Project (WTP), focuses on reaching the most vulnerable
population in this country when it comes to oral health
- older adults. Every day in the United States, 10,000 adults
reach retirement age and Medicare does not include dental
benefits. The WTP aims to provide older adults and their
caregivers with the resources they need to maintain good
oral health as they age.
A large part of this program is the soon-to-be-launched
website ToothWisdom.org. This site will provide expert
content on issues facing older adults when it comes to oral
health and help connect older adults and their caregivers
with resources where they live. Dental professionals
can participate by becoming a content expert for
ToothWisdom.org. The more information that is available
on the site, the better we can educate older adults and their
caregivers about the importance of maintaining a healthy
mouth at any age. The need for content experts will continue
once the site is launched. If you are interested in providing
content for the site or for more information, contact
Ally Supowitz at Allyson.Supowitz@oralhealthamerica.org
In addition to educating older adults, OHA aims to educate
all Americans through its annual Fall for Smiles campaign.
Every September and October, Fall for Smiles
provides messaging about the importance of maintaining
good oral health through brushing and flossing, regular visits
to the dentist, eating a healthy diet and avoiding tobacco.
As part of the campaign, OHA releases the results of a
public opinion survey about oral health, revealing how
Americans think about oral health and how they keep their
We encourage all dental professionals to participate in
this campaign both in their communities and through their
dental offices. On the Fall for Smiles webpage (OralHealthAmerica.org/fallforsmiles), you'll find template newsletter
articles and letters to the editor to spread the campaign's
message through your office's newsletters or your local newspaper.
You will also find suggestions for how to talk about
the campaign on social media. Every year Fall for Smiles also
features a Smile Contest, where dental professionals are
invited to submit photos of how their teams and/or patients
maintain their healthy smiles. As fall approaches, the Fall for
Smiles webpage will have even more ways showing how dental
professionals can participate in the campaign and tell the
public about the importance of oral health.
We invite all dental professionals to visit OHA's website,
www.oralhealthamerica.org, and follow us on Twitter
(@Smile4Health) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/oral
healthamerica) to learn more about our programs and the
work we do. With your help, we can bring oral health care
and resources to the people who need it most.
Beth Truett is president and chief executive officer of Oral Health America (OHA), an organization dedicated to improving oral health,
especially for America's most vulnerable citizens. Based in Chicago, OHA was founded in 1955 and works to connect communities
with resources to provide access to care, education and public policies. Truett came to OHA in September 2008 with significant corporate
and nonprofit leadership experience, serving previously as the executive director of Chicago Lights, a community outreach organization
that annually serves 7,000 Chicagoans who face the challenges of aging, poverty, access to education and health care.