A program to provide free dental health services for children in Mower County of Austin, Minnesota who lack dental insurance or other access to care will start this month as part of a year-long emergency program.
"It'll help to prevent tooth decay and promote good dental health," public health director Margene Gunderson told the Austin Post-Bulletin.
The program will offer screenings, teeth cleaning and a fluoride application to children under 13 the first and third Tuesday of every month.
Gunderson said that the county doesn't have the resources to get most people into dental offices to get the necessary preventive dental care.
Concerns about access to care are growing in several states, especially those facing budget shortfalls such as California and Massachusetts.
Many states have cut Medicaid coverage for dental procedures for adults, and others are struggling with alternative ways to provide care to children who otherwise have limited access to dentists.
The ADA suggest children see a dentist at least once a year for a dental checkup. But while programs such as the one in Mower County can manage that, if a problem is found, the child may still not have the funds for proper care.
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