The state of Massachusetts is helping keep kids teeth healthy. Massachusetts is now the first state to require tooth-brushing for kids who spend more than four hours a day or have meals in licensed centers. Children will brush their teeth themselves or get help from a caretaker during the day. However, parents who don’t want their kids to participate may opt out.
The move in Massachusetts comes after experts say the number of children with cavities is on the rise. In part, experts blame the increase on the same dietary changes causing a record number of overweight youngsters: constant snacking on processed foods, fewer fruits and vegetables, more sugary drinks at younger ages, including juice in baby bottles and sippy cups.
This program is needed because tooth decay leads to expensive dental work. It is especially pricey for parents whose children don’t have affordable medical insurance. And if parents let cavities go untreated, they spread to other teeth.
Inexpensive health insurance is a great way to reduce risk of cavities. It encourages parents to take children for regular checkups at the dentist.