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May 25, 2011 11:50 AM by Andy Koen

Colorado scores a B in kids dental health study

A state-by-state report card on childhood oral health give Colorado a B grade saying that the state can do more to prevent tooth decay among kids. The report titled "Making Coverage Matter" was conducted by the Pew Center on the States and found that Colorado only reached five out of 8 benchmarks that the group labels as crucial to improving oral health.

The study's authors say that more communities in our state need fluoridated water, that the state Medicaid program needs to better reimburse dentists, and that the state needs to authorize a new type of primary dental care provider.

The study credits Colorado for having a higher than average percentage of Medicaid children who visited the dentist last year, for allowing dental hygienists use sealants on children's teeth prior to dental exams, for the level of Medicaid reimbursement, for using dental sealant programs in at-risk schools and for submitting dental screening data to a national database.

"Poor oral health affects children living in poverty at twice the rate of their peers; leading to lost school hours and poor academic performance, health problems, and a myriad of costly issues that will have a negative impact on the general health of our residents and ultimately on the state's economy," said Karen Cody Carlson, executive director of Oral Health Colorado.

Click here to read the full report and to view the study methodology.

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