Local Programs Provide Dental Health Equity for Children and Adults

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Vail Valley Charitable Fund Honors Oral Health Month, June 2021

Local Programs Provide Dental Health Equity for Children and Adults

In response to overwhelming oral health needs, the Eagle County Smiles Program (ECS) was established by the Vail Valley Charitable Fund (VVCF) in 2006 with numerous organizations in Eagle County. We help children until age 18 by assigning them a dental provider to achieve treatment, preventative care, and education about healthy dental habits. ECS has cared for 800 children since its inception and distributed over $600,000 through the program.

Based on the success of ECS and feedback from our applicants, we realized the need for an adult program. Thus, Eagle County Grins launches in June to coincide with Oral Health Month.

Eagle County Grins (ECG) will provide uninsured adults ages 18+ up to $1,500 for treatment. We’re proud to have Dr. and Mrs. Justin Moses of Elevated Dental as cornerstone members of the ECG collaborative. We are incredibly grateful for their professionalism and passion as they help us define program details to ensure a high standard of care. Aside from treatment and preventative measures, we’ll educate those who are Medicaid or CHP+ eligible to receive adult benefits already in place with the state worth up to $1,500 in annual support.

While our kid’s program promotes healthy dental habits through preventive, restorative, and educational care, for adult patients, undiagnosed and untreated dental issues become significantly more costly and impact patients’ mental and overall health. The goal of Eagle County Grins is to encourage adult patients to seek treatment sooner by lessening the financial burden of restorative dental work for uninsured patients.

Eagle County Grins (ECG) will address the following realities in Eagle County:

  • 45% of residents do not have dental insurance.
  • We are second-lowest region for adults with dental insurance coverage in 2016 and 2018
  • We have the highest percentage of Coloradans who skipped dental care due to cost in 2019.
  • The ratio of Medicaid providers to enrollees is greater than 1150:1.
  • People with poor oral health have a higher risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart attack or stroke than people with good oral health.

Our work allows children to thrive developmentally and reach their education more equitably; children and adults can better achieve whole-body health and wellness.

The Vail Valley Charitable Fund was created in 1996 to assist individuals living and working in the Vail Valley. We help people experiencing financial hardship due to a medical crisis or long-term illness. In 25 years, we’ve raised and distributed $8.4 million to 1,800 families in our community.

Make a financial contribution to VVCF Dental Programs: http://coloradogives.org/VVCFDentalProgramsCampaign

Access program applications in English and Spanish: vvcf.org