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Special lunch events ensure oral health care...

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Posted at 10:50 AM, May 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-18 10:50:12-04

Pull up a chair, grab your bingo marker and get ready to brush up on your oral health knowledge.

Delta Dental has launched a new program designed to educate seniors on proper oral health care and connect them with local resources.

“Serving Smiles to Seniors” is delivered by Delta Dental of Michigan through a partnership with the Michigan Office of Retirement Services and the Tri-County Office on Aging.

Each month from April through August, Tri-County Office on Aging sites in Ingham and Eaton counties will host the program. Seniors will be treated to lunch, oral health bingo and a 30-minute oral health education session delivered by a registered dental hygienist trained in Oral Health America’s Wisdom Tooth curriculum.

Delta Dental is providing $30,000 to Oral Health America to expand the Wisdom Tooth program in Michigan and is also providing the “Serving Smiles to Seniors” lunch program.

Employee volunteers from the Office of Retirement Services will host and serve the lunches.

At select sites, the Mobile Dental Center owned by the Ingham County Health Department will provide dental care to seniors in need.

“The goal of Serving Smiles to Seniors is to not only begin a conversation about proper oral care and hygiene in the golden years, but to help seniors find dental providers and resources nearby,” said Teri Battaglieri, Director for the Delta Dental Foundation. “Oral health care can be challenging as individuals age, but with proper guidance and education, seniors can prevent many painful oral health issues down the road.”

When the Wisdom Tooth curriculum was first piloted by Oral Health America in 2014, it was met with a great response, as 93 percent of seniors reported they felt more confident in managing their oral health needs as a result of participating.

“ORS is excited to serve seniors through this program. It will offer a nice balance of education and fun for attendees,” said Office of Retirement Services Director, Kerrie Vanden Bosch.

Pre-registration is required, but the workshops are free and open to the public. Those interested in attending should call the phone number listed for each site.

“Serving Smiles to Seniors” will visit the following locations at noon:

Wednesday, May 18

Sam Corey Senior Center 2108 N. Cedar St.

Holt, MI 48842

517-268-0096

Tuesday, June 7

Delta Township Enrichment Center 4538 Elizabeth St. Lansing, MI 48912

517-484-5600

Tuesday, June 28

Grand Ledge Senior Center 310 Greenwood St.

Grand Ledge, MI 48837

517-887-1393

Wednesday, July 20

Letts Community Center 1220 W. Kalamazoo St.

Lansing, MI 48915

517-483-4311

Wednesday, August 10

Williamston Senior Center 201 School St.

Williamston, MI 48895

517-655-5173

Wednesday, August 24

Jefferson Square Apartments 500 S. Jefferson St.

Mason, MI 48854

517-887-1393