Improving Oral Health for People with Disabilities

December 5, 2019

Boy brushing his teeth.

Obtaining and maintaining oral health is a critical issue for everyone in the United States, but people with disabilities encounter additional barriers to receiving adequate health care. For this reason, for the second year in-a-row, the Northeast Delta Dental Foundation has awarded the Institute on Disability (IOD) $7,500 to advance oral health outcomes and oral health care access for individuals with disabilities.

"Individuals with disabilities face a cadre of challenges related to achieving and maintaining good oral health," said Dr. Mary Schuh, Director of Development and Consumer Affairs at the IOD, "including lack of access to care due to limited Medicaid coverage, challenges with brushing due to sensory and/or mobility challenges, and more,"

"Thankfully, the Northeast Delta Dental Foundation acknowledges that individuals with disabilities are an underserved population and they've come beside us for the second year in a row to address this issue in the Granite State."

To combat this growing issue, the IOD will build on the success of last year through education, leadership and advocacy training, and building networks of support. Specifically, funding will help educate 35 disability self-advocates and family members of individuals with disabilities about oral health care. They will also facilitate a New Hampshire Leadership Series Action Group. The cohort will learn to challenge themselves and their assumptions, map out and implement their plans for change, and learn how to work as members of a diverse group to influence a public issue through collective action.