The dental health of millions of children may be at risk because of problems with their dental insurance, a Government Accountability Office report suggests.
According to the GAO study, children enrolled in Medicaid are more likely to have untreated tooth decay because some dentists do not accept the dental insurance. Approximately 6.5 million are suffering from dental decay, the organization calculates.
The figures indicate that across the U.S., only one-third of kids with Medicaid received dental care during the past year. Meanwhile, one in eight children with this type of dental insurance had never visited a dentist.
"We estimate that in 2005, 1.1 million children aged two through 18 in Medicaid had conditions that warranted seeing a dentist within two weeks," the report stated. "Most children in Medicaid do not visit the dentist regularly."
The American Dental Association recommends that children see a dentist twice per year for a dental checkup and should make their first visit no later than their first birthday.
Discount dental plans are an alternative to dental insurance that can help individuals and families save between 10 and 60 percent on most dental procedures.
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