Florida Oral Health Policy 101
Despite the fact that tooth decay is preventable, it is the most common chronic, infectious disease afflicting children in Florida. The most vulnerable children are at greatest risk. Low-income children, in particular, are 5 times less likely to receive dental care than other children. Many of Palm Beach County’s children fall into the highest-risk categories.
Florida ranks near last among states in the proportion of children reported to have a dental visit paid by Medicaid. Nationally, rates of Medicaid utilization have been increasing over the years while in Florida they have been declining. In sum, too many of Florida’s children suffer too much, too early in life, from a disease that is preventable.
The public health problem of dental disease is winnable, and a focus on early intervention is increasingly seen as the best chance for success. This will require an understanding of current barriers and opportunities on:
This section addresses oral health from a Florida perspective. Scroll through the five categories to learn how policies and systems affect the oral health status of children in the state.