A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Oral Health

SAVE THE DATE: February 8, 2011

The 6th Annual Oral Health Heroes Event is undergoing a transformation! As you know, oral health and school success are inextricably linked. Nationally, children miss more than 51 million school hours each year due to dental disease. Dental decay can hinder kids’ ability to learn and advance in school by affecting attendance and concentration. Dental disease also affects some of the most basic activities in life, such as speaking and eating. Read more »

United Voices Fight for Healthy Mouths:

Advocates from Across the State Gather to Protest Dental Cuts Read more »

Oral Health State House Lobby Day and Rally Thursday

Your Voice is Needed to Protect the Health of the Commonwealth. Join us to share your stories with legislators and press conference in the Great Hall, Thursday, January 13. From 11:00 - 12:00 we will visit legislative offices at the State House to educate them about the importance of Adult Dental Restoration and encourage them to join us when... We reconvene at 1:00 pm at the Grand Staircase in the State House as the Legislative Oral Health Caucus and the Oral Health Advocacy Taskforce hold a press conference to announce legislation to restore MassHealth Adult Dental benefits. Participants... Read more »

Healthy People = Good Oral Health

Every 10 years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services releases Healthy People, a set of 10-year national objectives for promoting health and preventing disease. The new goals for 2020were just released, and oral health plays a significant part in making sure people are healthy. The oral health section begins by stating that oral health is central to a person’s overall health and well-being. They tout the successes of public health interventions such as community water fluoridation and school-based dental sealant programs, and highlight the need for access to comprehensive dental... Read more »

The People Behind the MassHealth Dental Cuts:

The People Behind the MassHealth Dental Cuts: Food, Winter Coat or Dental Care? We recently met with Cynthia, a MassHealth recipient who has lost most of her dental benefits due to the recent cuts. She is struggling with dental pain that makes it difficult to eat the healthy diet required by her diabetes. Because of the devastation to the MassHealth adult dental program, the only way to stop this pain is with an extraction- without the option of an implant to replace her tooth. Cynthia is understandably anxious about losing her tooth- she is worried about eating with a space in her mouth, and... Read more »

HCFA HelpLine Inundated with Dental Calls

The HCFA HelpLine is often the first place that we see the trends that come from big gaps in our system of care. The loss of restorative dental care - such as fillings, root canals, and dentures - for the 700,000 adults on the MassHealth adult dental program is one such breach. We see the fallout of these cuts demonstrated dramatically on the HelpLine. In 2009, before the cuts, the HelpLine fielded 95 calls regarding dental services between July 1 and October 1. This year, the number of dental-related calls has jumped significantly: between July 1, 2010 and October 1, 2010, the HelpLine... Read more »

Oral Health in Men’s Health Magazine!

Oral health seems to have broken at least one barrier, with a full page article in the November issue of Men’s Health. The article highlights the “Cavity Capitals” of the US, listing the best and worst cities for oral health. The authors looked at community water fluoridation, the percentage of people who saw a dentist in the past year, the percentage of people who have had teeth extracted, the percentage of households using dental floss, the money spent on oral hygiene products, and the number of dentists per capita. At HCFA, we know that brushing and flossing alone are not enough- people... Read more »

“How should we talk about oral health?”

“How should we talk about oral health?” This Thursday in Hyannis! Oral health IS health. We want your opinions to help shape a new campaign focused on improving access to critical oral health care, including restoring full MassHealth benefits for adults and ensuring care for kids. WHAT: Community Focus Group WHERE: Community Action Committee of Cape Cod 115 Enterprise Rd Hyannis, MA 02601 WHEN: 10-11AM, Thursday, October 28, 2010 $20 gift cards to Stop & Shop will be provided to participants. Read more »

Free Breakfast and an Oral Health Chat!

Join fellow Springfield community members on Friday morning at an oral health focus group and forum. We want your opinions to help shape a new campaign focused on improving access to critical oral health care, including restoring full MassHealth benefits for adults and ensuring care for kids. For a flyer (.pdf) click here . We also want to hear how the MassHealth dental cuts have impacted you, your family, and your community. WHERE: Baystate Health First Floor Conference Room 759 Chestnut Street, Springfield WHEN: Friday, October 15, 9:00-11:00 AM FREE BREAKFAST will be provided to... Read more »


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