Homelessness and the Struggle for Oral Care

Every year, it is estimated that 2 million people are considered homeless and either living on the streets or in shelters. Of this population, families account for about 38% and children approximately 25%. Homelessness can be the result of countless unforeseen circumstances, including everything from low-paying jobs to changes in public health assistance. With a lack of housing, it can be nearly impossible to afford adequate health care products, especially when it comes to oral hygiene.

Having decayed or missing teeth is extremely common in the homeless population, since most cannot afford essential oral care items or regular dental visits. In fact, homeless people are 12 times more likely than other individuals to have oral health issues. If untreated, small dental issues can oftentimes lead to periodontal disease or edentulism.

Leading causes of oral health issues in the homeless population include:

1) Inability to use toothbrush and toothpaste regularly
2) Unreliable food sources and inadequate nutrition, especially for pregnant women
3) Alcoholism and tobacco use
4) Lack of health insurance with Medicaid and CHIP coverage varying by location

It is not rare for many of these instances to occur in a single homeless community, leading to extreme oral health problems. The Global Burden of Disease Study of 2019 estimated that oral diseases affect close to 3.5 billion people worldwide. Also, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, cancers of the lip and oral cavity are among the top 20 most common cancers worldwide, with nearly 180,000 deaths each year.

Furthermore, there is a proven relationship between oral care and overall health in general. Poor oral care and diet can lead to other sicknesses within the body, including diabetes and obesity. In many homeless cases, nutritional value takes a back seat to survival.

However, there are many ways in which we as a community can help the homeless. Donating oral care essentials is a great way to start. DollarDays has all the oral care essentials in bulk one could ever imagine when it comes to fresh breath and healthy teeth.

Some bulk oral care essentials include:
1) Assorted toothbrushes
2) Travel toothbrushes
3) Toothpaste (full size and travel size)
4) Fluoride
5) Dental floss/floss picks
6) Dental carrying kits
7) Kids’ dental care kits
8) Mouthwash
9) Oral pain relief packets
10) Denture cleanser

Oral care kits in particular are extremely valuable in homeless communities, as they’re easily transportable. Our wholesale oral care kits include all necessary oral care basics, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, and dental floss and come in either a plastic clear bag or a fabric travel bag.

Homeless populations across the country need all the help they can get when it comes to oral care. Do your part in helping the community by donating wholesale oral care essentials today!

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