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Help Families Navigate Their Children’s Dental Coverage And Get the Care They Need

Help Families Navigate Their Children’s Dental Coverage And Get the Care They Need

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and we have a reason for you to smile. More kids than ever before have dental coverage in California. Pediatric dental coverage is included in all Covered California health plans thanks to policy changes implemented last year, and all children enrolled in Medi-Cal also have dental coverage. This coverage opens the door to preventive dental services, such as exams, fluoride treatments, and more. There is also coverage for treatment of problems, such as fillings and other needed care.

Expanded coverage is especially significant for low-income children and communities of color facing stark inequities in oral health. According to a report by the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, the disparity in oral health between poor and affluent children in California is the worst in the nation. African American and Latino children are less likely to have seen a dental provider and often wait longer between visits. When children don’t have good oral health and get the care they deserve, they are at risk for missing school and performing poorly in class, and they often end up in the emergency room for preventable dental problems that become costly when left untreated.

Dental coverage and learning how to use that coverage to get preventive services is the foundation for kids to have healthy teeth. Many families, however, may not know their kids have coverage or how to get dental care. That’s why The Children’s Partnership developed brand new flyers to help families learn how to navigate their children’s dental coverage.

Schools, clinics, churches and congregations, businesses, doctors, promotores, and community organizations can all use these flyers to help families understand how to get the dental care their children need. It will be especially important to educate families that may not have had coverage in the past, such as undocumented children that will be newly eligible for Medi-Cal later this year.

There are three versions that address the differences in Medi-Cal dental coverage between Los Angeles County, Sacramento County, and the rest of the state, all available in both English and Spanish.

Download and share the brand new “Your Child Has Dental Coverage!” flyers. Contact Jenny Kattlove, Senior Director of Programs, with any questions at jkattlove@childrenspartnership.org

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