By Shirley Brown, Economic Security Team Member at Elder Law of Michigan
One of the most costly, stressful, and painful times in our lives is when we visit the dentist’s office. As a young person, it does not seem as stressful since we are unaware of the process and we have our parents to encourage us. However, as an adult, we are most likely not just getting our teeth cleaned. That thought alone is one of fear for most of us.
Good oral hygiene is important no matter what age you are. When you consider that your teeth make you look attractive, help you to eat all the good foods that you enjoy, and most of all affect your overall health; neglecting your mouth can mean trouble.
A dentist can tell a lot just from examining your mouth. Regular cleansing is so necessary. Brushing two to three times a day is recommended. Flossing helps with maintaining cleanliness and preventing cavities.
Many older adults are not able to afford the cost of visiting the dentist even once a year. Most patients neglect to go to the dentist until they are in such pain that it is unavoidable. Without dental insurance or medical insurance that will cover this expense, the cost can be very overwhelming and unaffordable. Medicare and Medicaid often do not pay for even the office visit let alone the procedure. Surgery and or the cost of dentures can often be out of the question.
There are many older adults who are going around without teeth or dental care mainly because of the expense. There are some dental schools and places that offer low-cost dental care, yet they are hard to find. The University of Detroit School of Dentistry has a dental clinic that is low-cost. Several times a year, free dental care is provided by oral health care providers like The Wayne County Oral Health Coalition, who are concerned and want to make a difference.
The Wayne County Oral Health Coalition will be offering a free clinic on August 14 and 15, 2020 at the Marygrove College Campus. For more information contact WCOHC.MI@gmail.com.
Further information can be found on Michigan Oral Health Coalition website. You can also join the Oral Health Progress and Equity Network for more information.
Shirley L. Brown is a member of the Economic Security Team and has been member of the Elder Law of Michigan team since 2011. As a member of the Economic Security Team, Shirley focuses on assisting clients with benefits applications such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Medicaid.