Baxter International Foundation and Americares are launching a new oral health project to help combat the negative impact poor oral hygiene can have on patients' overall health. The Americares Oral Health Project will give 30 Americares partner clinics across the United States the capacity to deliver oral health education to uninsured, underinsured and low-income patients. Baxter International Foundation is funding the year-long initiative with a nearly $75,000 grant to Americares, the world's leading nonprofit provider of donated medicine and supplies. A lack of dental care disproportionately affects low-income individuals' overall health and socio-economic status; an estimated 164 million work hours are lost each year due to oral disease. In addition, the Mayo Clinic has found oral health may contribute to various diseases and conditions like endocarditis, cardiovascular disease and premature birth. The Americares Oral Health Project will train partner clinic staff to integrate oral health education and introduce preventive measures for dental health issues in a primary care setting. In the United States, Americares supports a network of 1,000 clinics and health centers serving 5 million patients in need with medicine, supplies, education and training. The new program includes a customized ''Train the Trainer'' webinar series, created in collaboration with the Institute for Healthcare Advancement, to educate partner clinic staff on how to integrate basic oral health education materials, including those designed for patients with low literacy, into primary and dental care settings. The training sessions will each entail three, one-hour educational modules accompanied by an oral health instructional book, ''What to Do for Healthy Teeth'' intended for children and adults. The book is an easy-to-follow, elementary guide developed by two dentists covering an extensive range of oral health topics on how to care for every tooth in adults and for children from birth to age 18. ''Baxter is steadfast in our commitment to help provide access to healthcare,'' said Stacey Eisen, president of the Baxter International Foundation and vice president, global communications at Baxter. ''Our partnership with Americares and the launch of the oral health initiative is paving a new avenue that can engage vulnerable, underserved populations to address issues related to dental care and, in turn, significantly improve their overall health.''