A Pew Center on the States report says Michigan is falling down on the job of providing low-income kids good dental care despite a decade-old program designed to do so.
While Michigan is one of six states praised for establishing the Healthy Kids Dental program in 2000, the state was criticized for excluding 675,000 kids from the program this past year. While 300,000 Michigan kids in 61 counties received care through the program, the initiative excluded youngsters in major metropolitan counties, including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Kent and Ingham.
The Pew report showed that only one in three Michigan youngsters eligible for dental care on Medicaid actually receives any. We all know know the state is broke, but we can and must do better.
Many Michigan dentists donate their time to special events, such as the Give Kids a Smile program sponsored by the American Dental Association. However, as Dr. William Wright, president of the Michigan Dental Association, says, “â€œMichiganâ€™s children deserve more than charity care. We need a comprehensive approach that ensures access to dental care for all children and helps us reach our ultimate goal of preventing dental disease.â€