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Millions Of U.S. Children Do Not Receive Dental Care — Shocking Report

Tue, April 24, 2012 4:02pm EDT by 5 Comments
Medicaid Dental Care

Can you believe more than 16 million children on Medicaid in the U.S. do not see a dentist? Not even for a routine check-up!

Low income families on Medicaid are taking a massive hit and their children are suffering from poor dental health.

According to a 2009 study by the Pew Center on the States, dentists are treating very young patients with teeth blackened from decay, bacteria and multiple cavities.

Ignoring teeth can mean life or death! An tooth infection can kill or promote heart disease, stroke, diabetes and osteoporosis.

Kids who do not receive dental care can suffer from root canals before the age of 10, ABC News reports.

There was an issue heard by Congress regarding children’s dental health back in 2007 when a 12-year-old boy, Deamonte Driver of Maryland, died due to a tooth infection. The infection spread to his brain because his mother couldn’t find a dentist that would take Medicaid.

“I see it in their eyes before they tell me it’s that way,” Dr. Gregory Folse told ABC News about his goal to assist in the dental crisis. “We are able to intervene and take the pain away from their teeth and it brings the spark back.”

The state of Florida suffers the worst, receiving an F in children’s dental health in a 2011 report from the Pew Center. In 2009, only 25.7 percent of kids in Florida on Medicaid went to the dentist!

“The Medicaid rates are so low that dentists are not willing to participate in the Medicaid program,” Dr. Frank Catalanotto of the University of Florida said. “You can’t blame the dentists, really, because the cost of delivering the service is more than the reimbursement they receive.”

HollyMoms, take this as a severe warning regardless of whether you’re on Medicaid — be sure to take your children to the dentist!

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