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Oral Health

Oral health is essential to overall health, but access to such services is limited. In response, many foundations and corporate giving programs are working to improve oral health care through policy and advocacy, workforce development, and delivery system support. GIH strives to increase funder awareness of this important need, particularly for vulnerable populations.

Contact Osula Rushing for more information about our programming in this area.

Issue Spotlight

February 2017

A new CDC Data Brief examines sugar-sweetened beverage consumption among youth between 2011 and 2014. Among the findings, researchers found that almost two-thirds of boys and girls consumed at least one sugar-sweetened beverage on a given day and older youth on average consumed more of these beverages and accounted for a higher percentage of daily calories relative to younger children.

December 2016

Despite evidence of a strong connection between oral health and physical health, Medicare excludes dental care from covered benefits, not only leaving beneficiaries at risk for tooth decay and disease but also exposing them to high out-of-pocket costs. More than half of Medicare beneficiaries went without a dental visit in the past 12 months, and only 12 percent had any kind of dental insurance, according to a new Health Affairs study by Commonwealth Fund–supported researchers. The authors also found that lower-income beneficiaries are much less likely than higher-income ones to receive dental care, based on the analysis of 2012 Medicare survey data. The authors propose two policy options for adding dental coverage to Medicare’s benefit package, with both designed to cover the full cost of one annual preventive care visit plus 50 percent of costs for necessary care.

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