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The Every Smile Counts 2022 Older Adults report, is based on a statewide oral health survey conducted through the Connecticut Department of Public Health's (CT DPH) Office of Oral Health, to assess the oral health status of vulnerable older adults in Connecticut. The Connecticut Oral Health Initiative was contracted by the CT DPH to implement the field survey, collect and analyze data, and lead in writing the report. Funding was provided by the Federal Government's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The survey was conducted for two high-risk older adult population groups: residents of long-term care (LTC) facilities and adults attending federally subsidized congregate meal sites (CM sites). Twenty-three LTC facilities were screened throughout Connecticut, along with 26 CM sites located in the same communities as the LTC facilities. 84.5% of survey respondents were age 65 or older. 

The report follows the 2013 report to compare state trends to assist in the development of state policies and programs to improve the oral health of Connecticut’s older adult population by ensuring they have access to preventative and therapeutic dental care for optimal oral health. 

Oral health is integral to overall health, but is often an overlooked aspect of an older adult’s general health. The 2022 Every Smile Counts for Older Adults survey demonstrates that Connecticut has many barriers to overcome to improve the oral health of vulnerable older adults. The report outlines key strategies to raise public awareness of the oral health needs of this growing population, inform policy makers, and create programs that can contribute to improving the oral health and overall health of Connecticut’s aging population.

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