CHICAGO, April 13 — Oral Health America’s Tooth Wisdom: Get Smart About Your Mouth, a first-of-its-kind oral health education workshop for community-dwelling older adults, is expanding this year thanks in part to funding from The Retirement Research Foundation. The $60,076 foundation grant is the first for OHA’s Wisdom Tooth Project® outside of the dental community.
Tooth Wisdom: Get Smart About Your Mouthfeatures a curriculum designed to empower community dwelling older adults with knowledge and a sense of self-efficacy to care for their oral health. The curriculum is taught in workshops led by trained dental hygienists in settings where older adults naturally congregate such as senior centers, libraries, and places of worship. The grant from The Retirement Research Foundation will in part fund the expansion of the workshops to four additional markets in 2015.
“We are honored to receive this funding from The Retirement Research Foundation; we appreciate their recognition that oral health is essential to healthy aging,” said OHA President and CEO Beth Truett. “The Tooth Wisdom: Get Smart About Your Mouth workshops are designed to reach the 92 percent of older adults who are aging in their communities, and we look forward to expanding the pilot in 2015.”
OHA launched the initial pilot during the summer of 2014 in Chicago, IL, with 93 percent of participants reporting they felt more confident in their ability to manage their oral care needs as a result of their participation in the workshop. These overwhelmingly positive results will be the basis for updating the workshops and expanding throughout the country.
To learn more about Tooth Wisdom: Get Smart About Your Mouth and all of OHA’s work for older adults, please visit www.oralhealthamerica.org.