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Pew Report: California Off Track in Providing Children with Dental Health Care They Need
Date:2/22/2010

ht policy benchmarks in Pew's analysis.  

More than a quarter of the state's high-risk schools benefit from sealant programs, but California is one of five states moving in the wrong direction on the percentage of Medicaid-enrolled children who see a dentist each year. About 31 percent received care in 2007, down from 32 percent in 2000. Only 27 percent of the population had access to fluoridated water as of 2006, but soon to be released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to reflect that water systems in Los Angeles and San Diego are now fluoridated.

"California policy makers are doing well but should do more to expand dental care to reach more children," said Shelly Gehshan, director of the Pew Children's Dental Campaign. "By enacting a handful of effective policies, California can help eliminate the long-term health and economic consequences of untreated dental disease among kids."

February is National Children's Dental Health Month. Nationwide, an estimated one in five children, or 17 million, goes without dental care each year and two thirds of states do not have key policies in place to ensure proper dental
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SOURCE The Pew Center on the States
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