Some of you may have heard of the tragic death of a 12 year old boy living in our nation's capital, who died when untreated dental issues caused a deadly infection. Deamonte Driver died when an infected tooth lead to a brain infection. His dental problems had not been addressed because his bother had so many rotted teeth that his mother was concentrating on getting those issues fixed.
The children had lost their Medicaid and his mother did not have the money to have his tooth removed, nor the dentists willing to treat him.
For more on the Deamonte Driver story, click here:
More than 6 million children who have Medicaid benefits have tooth decay that is left untreated. That figure is double that of children who have private insurance. Many dentists do not accept Medicaid insurance because it usually pays a lot less that private insurance and they don't want to deal with the extensive paperwork.
One surveys has shown that 66% of children with Medicaid have not received dental care the year before the survey was done and approximately 12% of kids with Medicaid have never seen a dentist at all.
People want change.
A community dental health coordinator (CDHC) is being recommended to schools to ensure all children get dental care when needed and more dental schools are forming (there are currently 57).
The American Dental Association has lots of information regarding dental care in general, detailed topics, surveys and research.
And let's not forget our own responsibility to clean our children's teeth at least twice a day. Healthy foods, less sugar, water and milk to drink and regular brushing and flossing are the first and most important steps to a healthy mouth.
Dental care is serious.
Have you had good or bad experiences with Medicaid?
What are you doing to help with your own dental health and that of your children?
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