Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Dental Download: September 26, 2014

This week, we learn that American adults often lack access to quality dental benefits, young women need to improve their oral health, and millions of Americans who are accessing healthcare for the first time don’t understand their benefits. Join in the conversation on Twitter using #FridayDentalDL.

The Atlantic reporter Olga Kazhan learned firsthand recently that American adults often lack access to quality dental care when she attended a Mission of Mercy event in Maryland. Only 12 states provide comprehensive dental benefits for adults through their Medicaid programs and three offer nothing at all. Learn more about the need to expand adult dental benefits here.

According to a study published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease, young pregnant women, non-Hispanic black or Mexican-American women, and lower income and less educated women, need to improve their oral care. Women have a higher risk of experiencing oral health problems and it is especially important for pregnant women to receive proper oral health care.

We love this byline in Healthy Cells Magazine about preventing the spread of bacteria that causes tooth decay and how to properly manage risk. We always encourage open conversations with your dentist about your risk for dental disease and remind parents not to put their child’s pacifier in their own mouth to clean it.

The Affordable Care Act and expansion of Medicaid benefits has allowed millions of people to access healthcare benefits for the first time, but it turns out that many of those people don’t understand how to use them. Understanding your healthcare, called health literacy, is an important part of staying healthy. This is just as true for understanding your dental benefits to maintain good oral health.