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Pew Report: New Jersey Failing to Address Children's Dental Health Crisis
Date:2/22/2010

 However, fewer than one in three dentists in New Jersey participate in Medicaid. Fewer than a quarter of New Jersey's residents have fluoridated water, and it is the only state in the Northeast that provides fluoridation to less than half of its residents. The state does not reimburse physicians for providing basic preventive dental services to children, a measure that would allow more children to receive care.  The state could also do much more to bring sealant programs to its schools. The state only meets the benchmark for Medicaid payments to dentists, with rates that exceed dentists' retail fees.

"New Jersey's policy makers need to 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, New Jersey 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 health and access to care for children.


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SOURCE The Pew Center on the States
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