Children’s Health Coverage
Kindergarten children enrolled in Medicaid or SCHIP in North Carolina during the 2000-2001 school year had 17% more untreated dental caries than children who were not enrolled in the programs, according to a study in the American Journal of Public Health.
The study found that children in the public health insurance program were 1.7 times more likely than the unenrolled children to have untreated caries. In addition, children in Medicaid had 16% more untreated caries than children in SCHIP, according to the study.
In total, 30% of children in the public insurance program had caries.
The authors concluded that untreated tooth decay remains a significant problem among children in public health insurance programs, adding that the findings could have significant public health implications for the U.S. because of the large number of children who receive dental care through such programs (Brickhouse et al., American Journal of Public Health, May 2008).