The dental health needs of low-income older adults have been neglected, yet, oral health is a critical aspect of overall health for older adults. Untreated dental decay and tooth loss can not only lead to pain and difficulty eating, but also the worsening of chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension.

Our advocacy aims to improve oral health for older adults through educating local advocates and service providers on how they can help the older adults they serve access oral health care. We also strongly advocate for policy changes to improve oral health care for the nation’s low-income older adults.

Advocate Resources

Other Resources


September 2019: Your Dental Services Through Medi-Cal Fact Sheets – New Languages Available
July 2019: Medicare Oral Health Coverage for Your State Would Improve Health, Reduce Health Care Costs: Factsheets for all 50 states and DC
April 2019: New Bill Would Improve Access to Dental Care for Seniors, People with Disabilities, and Low-Income Populations
April 2019: A Dental Benefit in Medicare: Examining the Need in CA (California Dental Association, copyright April 2019)
March 2019: A Deep Dive into the Connections Between Oral and Behavioral Health (Families USA)
March 2019: Drilling Down on Dental Coverage and Costs for Medicare Beneficiaries (Kaiser Family Foundation)
December 2018: Fact Sheet: For Rural Seniors, Improving Overall Health Requires Improving Oral Health Care (Families USA)
November 2018: Surgeon General listening sessions on oral health. Part One, Part Two, and Part Three
November 2018: Report on Progress Towards the 2018 Milestones (Oral Health Progress and Equity Network)
October 2018: Oral Health America Medicare Dental Advocacy Toolkit
August 2018: California’s Seniors Would Benefit from Medicare Oral Health Coverage (Families USA)
July 2018: An Oral Health Benefit in Medicare Part B: It’s Time to Include
Oral Health in Health Care (Oral Health America)
March 2018: A Healthy Smile Never Gets Old: A California Report on the Oral Health of Older Adults (Center for Oral Health)
January 2018: California Oral Health Plan 2018-2028 (California Department of Public Health)
January 2018: Reframing Oral Health – A Communications Toolkit for Advancing Oral Health Reform 
November 2017: Little Hoover Commission Letter, Denti-Cal Program is Still Broken
April 2017: Status of Oral Health in California-Oral Disease Burden and Prevention 2017
April 2016: Little Hoover Commission Report
April 2016: A Talk with the Head of California’s Troubled Dental Program (California Healthline)
2016: Oral Health America: A State of Decay
December 2014: State Audit (that caused the Little Hoover Report)

Beyond Lip Service Dental Blogs

December 2, 2019 in FACT SHEET, Health Care, Medicare, Oral Health, REPORTS

FAQ: Adding a Dental Benefit to Medicare Part B

As Justice in Aging has been engaged in advocacy to add an oral health benefit to Medicare Part B, we’ve received a number of questions…
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October 25, 2019 in Health Care, ISSUE BRIEF, Medicare, Oral Health, REPORTS

Issue Brief: Adding a Dental Benefit to Medicare – Addressing Racial Disparities

The Medicare statute currently excludes nearly all dental coverage for the 60 million older adults and people with disabilities who rely on the program. This…
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July 1, 2019 in Medicare, Oral Health

Steps to join the Learning Collaborative

Step 1: First, you must join the Oral Health Progress Equity Network (OPEN) by requesting a login here. OPEN is a national network of individuals…
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