More seniors across Michigan will receive free oral health screenings when Serving Smiles to Seniors travels to 11 sites throughout the state.
The program, funded by the Delta Dental Foundation (DDF) and operated through Smiles on Wheels, provides seniors with a free oral health screening, goody bag with oral health care items and educational materials, plus a free lunch, game of bingo, and an oral health and nutrition presentation.
Serving Smiles to Seniors is unique because dental hygienists go directly to the patients and are able to connect them with services and more information as needed. A previous stop included the Arbor North Senior Center in Jackson, where resident Dr. Clayton Gregory, a former dentist in the Flint area for more than 35 years, received a screening and gave it a thumbs up.
Seniors age 65 and older have a higher risk of oral health complications that can affect their overall well-being. Additionally, many seniors have a hard time accessing affordable health care and lack transportation to the dental office.
Marjorie Raciboski, a 95-year-old participant in the Serving Smiles to Seniors program, recognizes how important dental care is and how the program can help many like her that do not have the means to see a dentist.
“There are two things I asked God to take care of—my mind and my teeth,” she said. “It is hard work, but you’ve got to keep at it. Life is worth it.”
This year’s Serving Smiles to Seniors locations include:
- Sand Road Center; Cheboygan
- Lake Clare; Clare
- St. George Towers/Apartments; Clinton Township
- Mid County Senior Center; Daggett
- Escanaba Senior Center; Escanaba
- Brennan Community Center; Genesee
- Arbor North Senior Center, Jackson
- Crouch Senior Center; Jackson
- St. Aiden; Michigan Center
- Morenci Senior Center; Morenci
- Meridian Senior Center; Okemos
- Shelby Township Senior Center; Shelby Township