By Carma Henry

Julianne Malveaux says that children pay a big price when their dental needs are unmet.

Blacks can’t afford to ignore dental health

A Smile for Every Child: “Sharing Smiles Day” and the Importance of Dental Health

By Julianne Malveaux, (NNPA Newswire Columnist)

While Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provide a safety net, access to dental care is a big issue, especially for children of color. According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, “tooth decay is the most common chronic disease among children in the United States, five times as prevalent as asthma, and dental care is one of the nation’s greatest unmet children’s health needs.” Why? Sometimes children’s parents simply did not arrange for them to see a dentist. Sometimes, dental services were not available in particular areas, for example, dental needs are sometimes more likely to be addressed in emergency rooms than dental clinics. And, a 2016 report from the Department of Health and Human Services said that dental provider shortages were at least part of the reason some children, especially low-income Black and Hispanic children, lack dental care.

Children pay a big price when their dental needs are unmet. In the worst and most extreme cases, as in that of Maryland’s …read more

Source:: The Westside Gazette