Florida's Low Income Children Lack Proper Dental Care

By: Betsy Goldin Email
By: Betsy Goldin Email

It is a sound most of us dread, the sound of the dental hygienist cleaning and poking at your teeth.

But unfortunately, it is a sound many Florida children do not hear often enough.

More than 75% of low-income children in Florida went without necessary dental care in 2011 according to a Pew Charitable Trust Survey.

Bay County health care providers are searching for ways to combat those startling statistics.

There are now two dental buses that travel to schools and four access points for dental care for those on medicaid, including the Children's Dental Clinic.

"That's how we're tackling it," said Douglas Kent with the Bay County Health Department. "We've got about 23,000 kids that really had no place to go."

Just within the past few years they have had the option to come to the Children's Dental Clinic.

"You'd think that with 23,000 kids out there needing access people would be beating down your doors to get in," Kent said.

But they are not, and health officials said education and awareness is key, knowing that these resources are available.

Health officials said get them to the dentist as soon as their first teeth start coming in, brush at least two times a day for three minutes and floss!


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