State launches campaign to promote dental health

A coalition formed after a 12-year-old boy from Prince George's County died from an untreated tooth infection will launch a healthy teeth campaign today aimed at families with children who can get free dental care through Medicaid.

The campaign, organized by the Maryland Dental Action Coalition, will be the first statewide awareness program focused on educating pregnant women and children up to 6-years-old.

The campaign, paid for with $1.2 million in federal money, will be outlined today at The National Dental Museum.

The coalition was created after the death of Deamonte Driver in 2007. Last year the coalition announced several initiatives including moving to a single statewide vendor to administer Medicaid services, increasing reimbursements to dentists to attract more providers to the Medicaid system, allowing dental hygienists to perform more screenings and requiring dental screenings for kids to enter school.

Tooth decay is the nation's most common childhood disease and is preventable, the coalition has found. But some parents don't know the basics for preventing tooth decay.


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