New California Law Aims To Reduce Kids’ Dental Problems
A new state law requires all children entering kindergarten or first grade in public schools to receive a dental checkup, the Oakland Tribune reports.
A study conducted two years ago also found that about 24% of children aged two to 11 statewide, and 33% of children in San Mateo County, have never seen a dentist. Statistics also indicate that child tooth decay is worse in low-income neighborhoods, the Tribune reports.
Ted Lempert, president of Oakland-based Children Now, said that the new law is a good first step but that there's still a shortage of dentists specializing in pediatric dental care.
Last month, the Department of Managed Health Care and First Dental Health company initiated a statewide awareness campaign to provide free dental screenings to students and related families.
Michael Grossman, founder and president of First Dental Health, acknowledged the shortage but said many general practitioners can handle young dental patients (Gonzales/Grady, Oakland Tribune, 1/14).