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Preventative Dental for Children

Posted by on 12/20/2013

Recent studies of preventative dental care indicate that children may not be receiving the routine care they need resulting in decay and disease as they age. In particular, it appears that there is a significantly lower rate of preventative visits among lower income families.

 Pediatric Dental Care

In a study of pediatric dental patients in California, it was reported that only 70% of children were receiving preventative dental care at least yearly. Shockingly, however, only 22% of low income children had been to the dentist at least once yearly. The disparity has caused great alarm regarding coverage and access to dental visits.

 

The difference in percentages appears to be related to reimbursement rates for covered services. The gap between what insurance programs cover and what is charged is too great for patients and families to pay. Additionally, the reimbursement rates are so low that many providers are unwilling to accept the coverage at all.

 

Also noted in this study, by kindergarten, over 50% of children have experienced symptoms of tooth decay. Of those, more than 25% of the cases are left untreated.

 

ADA guidelines still recommend two routine visits a year to the dentist and promote regular hygiene as the best defense against decay and disease.