The Surgeon General says that tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease, but proposed health care reform initiatives coming from the House of Representatives and the Senate could lead to an improvement in pediatric dental hygiene.
There are about twice as many children without dental care than there are without medical insurance in the U.S. today, according to Kaiser Health News. Fortunately, coverage for kids is mandated in reform proposals that are currently being reviewed by Congress, though they don't stress the importance of adult dental health to the same degree.
"The silver lining of all this heated debate, for children at least, is that in almost every conversation, in every version of a bill, there's some provision for children's oral health," said Amir Moursi to the news provider. Moursi is the chair of pediatric dentistry at New York University.
At first, the bills that pushed for children's dental care required the coverage come from plans that also offer medical insurance. The House and Senate have abandoned this condition, which could simplify the process of getting kids care.
The American Dental Association (ADA) says that parents can protect their children from tooth decay by teaching them about oral hygiene. A build up of fermentable carbohydrates can lead to the disease, but can be avoided by brushing and flossing regularly.
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