health
6:40 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Texas Low-Income Children Lack Dental Care

A new report grading states on dental health gives Texas low marks when it comes to providing low-income children with dental care. The report from the Pew Center on the States finds Texas has been slow to improve access to dental sealants – which can prevent cavities.

The report focused on schools with a high percentage of low-income students. It looked at whether states had school-based dental sealant programs – and graded them accordingly.  Texas received a D.

"In the case of Texas, where they had some sealant programs , it was less than 25 percent of those schools where those kids would be particularly concentrated," said Dr. Bill Maas, an advisor to the Pew children’s dental campaign. 

The report’s authors say a reasonable goal is 75 percent.

Dr. Patrice Coons heads the St David’s Dental Foundation Team.  They provide a full range of free dental services to low income students.

"In Texas there have been cuts in funding for public health both medically and in dental health and I think Texas is struggling like so many other states to care for both children and adults," Coons said.

Twenty other states and the District of Columbia all earned a D or an F in the Pew report.