While the proportion of Medicaid-enrolled children receiving a preventive dental service has risen from 42 percent in federal fiscal year (FFY) 2011 to 48 percent in FFY 2018, the national target of 52 percent has not yet been met (1). About one in five children aged 5-11 have at least one untreated decayed tooth (2). And, according to a 2020 study through the Pediatric Providers Against Cavities in Children’s Teeth (PACT) Trial, 59% of their study’s Medicaid-enrolled children aged 3 to 6 years old had dental caries (3). There are opportunities to advocate for policies and programs that expand access to preventive dental care in order to decrease the population prevalence of caries.
1) June 25, 2020 Informational Bulletin from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services:
2) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Children's Oral Health
3) Nelson S, Slusar MB, Curtan S, Selvaraj D, Hertz A. Formative and Pilot Study for an Effectiveness-Implementation Hybrid Cluster Randomized Trial to Incorporate Oral Health Activities into Pediatric Well-Child Visits. Dent J (Basel). 2020;8(3):101. Published 2020 Sep 1. doi:10.3390/dj8030101
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