February is children’s dental health month
CMH Miles for Smiles provides dental care to underinsured and uninsured children
Children’s Dental Health Month in February brings awareness to the importance of children’s oral health. While cavities and tooth decay are signs of poor oral health, even more is at stake.
According to Citizens for Missouri’s Children, dental issues cause American children to lose 850,000 school days per year. They report that 80 percent of tooth decay occurs in only 25 percent of children. Of those children, 31 percent of 6-8 year olds with tooth decay go without treatment and almost 80 percent of tooth decay in children is untreated. These children have no access to dental care and will go to the emergency room or hospital for oral problems that could have been solved with regular check-ups at the dentist. In Missouri, 71 percent of dentists do not accept Medicaid/MC+ patients and those that do, limit the number of Medicaid children to very few.
Citizens Memorial Health Care Foundation owns and operates Miles for Smiles, a mobile dental unit for children. Miles for Smiles has been providing dental services for underinsured and uninsured children ages pre-school through high school since September 1999. The unit goes to 38 schools in 10 counties in southwest Missouri. Miles for Smiles is able to provide dental care to children at school so parents do not have to miss work or accompany the child.
Consent forms, which include a medical history, are distributed in the schools and mailed to the Miles for Smiles office. A report is sent with the students to inform the parents what services and conditions were addressed during the dental visit.
Dr. Daniel Vogl, the full-time dentist working with Miles for Smiles, has more than 25 years of experience providing children with dental care. Miles for Smiles provides screenings and exams, X-rays, prophys and fluoride treatments, fillings, sealants, extractions, pulpotomy, stainless steel crowns, space maintainers, perio procedures, emergency care and some minor surgical procedures.
For more information about dental care for children, call the Miles for Smiles office at 417-328-6334 or the CMH Information Center at 888-328-6010.
February 04, 2014