Focus Areas

Oral health: Making a dental difference for kids

What’s going on in kids’ mouths matters.


child_dentalcoverage_allinforhealthOral health is important for children’s overall health and wellbeing. We know tooth pain makes it hard to pay attention in school, but did you also know:

  • Children with poor dental health are almost three times as likely to miss school as their peers (Jackson et al., 2011).
  • According to a report from the Maternal Child and Adolescent Health Division of the California Department of Health (2005), minority children and those in poverty are the most likely to suffer from dental problems.
  • 34 percent of California’s two- to four-year-olds have never visited a dentist (Child Health Interview Survey [CHIS], 2009), and overall, 27 percent of children between birth and five have never been to the dentist (CHIS, n.d.b).
  • And by third grade, more than 70 percent of children have a history of tooth decay, with more than 25 percent of these children untreated.
  • It’s estimated that California’s children miss a total of 874,000 days of school each year due to dental problems (Children Now, 2011).

PTA leaders and members believe that oral health is overall health and should be treated as a major health priority. If your family is in need of affordable dental services, be sure to check out the many new children’s benefits available through the Affordable Care Act and Covered California.

Stay on top of the developments and get involved with our free email alerts, and stay in touch your local PTA for the latest information on health issues and programs at your school.

Dental Coverage Now Included in Medi-Cal & Covered California

Many families in California may not know that if their children are enrolled in health coverage through Medi-Cal or Covered California, they also have comprehensive dental coverage. This means that they can get preventive dental services—such as exams, fluoride treatments, and more—as well as treatment for problems, such as fillings and other needed care.

Find out more and help spread the word with information from ALL IN for Health.