May 10, 2013 at 7:06 AM
State-funded dental care
Lack of dental coverage creates problems for families
When adults have limited or no dental coverage, it affects the well-being of their families. That’s one of the reasons the Legislature should fully fund dental coverage for Medicaid-insured, low-income adults [“Fully fund basic dental care,” Opinion, May 7].
As mentioned in the op-ed column, it is important to provide sufficient coverage so that minor problems, such as cavities, get fixed before they become more painful and costly.
When parents have access to dental coverage, they are more likely to ensure that their children also receive dental care. For both kids and adults, oral health is an essential component of overall health. Untreated dental disease can cause intense pain that affects a child’s ability to eat, learn and sleep. Children with dental problems are more likely to miss school and have problems getting good nutrition.
For adults, poor oral health can also negatively impact employability. If parents can’t find a job because they are missing teeth or have other visible dental problems, they may not be able to adequately provide for their children.
As a state, we need to make sure that people have sufficient dental coverage. Let’s ensure that low-income adults can get dental problems addressed so they can take care of their families.
Ben Danielson, medical director, Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, Seattle
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