Recognizing the link between good dental health and a person’s overall health, the Healthiest State Initiative, a privately led, publicly endorsed effort to improve the well being of Iowans, is seeking to increase the number of Iowans who have visited the dentist in the past 12 months and improve access to dental care for low-income older Iowans.
Iowans who need extensive dental treatment and are permanently disabled, or are over the age of 65 or are medically fragile may qualify for free dental care, donated through the services of dentist volunteers across the state, a program of Dental Lifeline Network supported by Delta Dental of Iowa and Iowa Dental Association with funding from the Iowa Department of Public Health.
“We know AARP Iowa members are very concerned about maintaining good oral health as we age,” said AARP Iowa State Director Kent Sovern. “We encourage members to help spread the word about the availability of free and reduced-cost dental care for eligible, low-income older Iowans,” he said.
Launched in 2011, the Healthiest State Initiative is a broad-based, community-focused effort designed to improve the health and well-being of Iowans as measured by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index (WBI). Since its initial rank of 19th in 2011, Iowa has moved up to 10th in the WBI by focusing on five key priority areas – Nutrition, Tobacco Use, Workplace Well-Being, Dental Health and Lifelong Learning.
For more information including applications and eligibility guidelines for the Donated Dental Services program, contact coordinator Diane Wells toll-free at 1-800-985-0034 or visit www.DentalLifeline.org