This winter season, the dental problems for the poor Illinois children will decrease considerably. A measure that will go into effect on December 31 will lift the restrictions from the dental procedures.
The State Senator Bill Haine, will sponsor House Bill 500, which will provide more access to dental care to the children under 12 years old. The children will be eligible for the program if they live in house below 200% the poverty line or if they will qualify for Medicaid.
Haine made some statements while referring to the future program. He said that the children whose teeth are rotting are deeply affected by their condition. The way they view life, the way they feel about themselves and if they are successful or not depends a lot on the health of their teeth. He said that this method involves preventive care, especially for the children who are in great need of help. He urged the governor to sign the legislature and this week, Governor Bruce Rauner did.
The piece of legislation was written at the initiative of the Illinois Public Health Association and of the Illinois State Dental Society. This will allow dental hygienists to work on children’s teeth, without the need of dentist examination. The director of the Illinois Public Health Association, Tom Hughes, said that this step is an important one towards better access to oral health for poor children and adults in Illinois. The association praised the way Senator Haine got involved in the program and supported it.
As the registered dental hygienists will perform on school-based programs, the programs will be extremely efficient and will save the state’s money. It will also enable children to get the required treatment faster.
Bruce Rotter, the dean of the University School of Dental Medicine of Illinois said that they have been struggling for a long time with the access to oral health care and Medicaid. They have especially wanted to increase the children’s access to health care.
As a recent study shows that there is even a link between cavities and obesity among the poor children. As the access to healthy food is limited, poor people tend to eat fast food products and that causes the cavities. Experts say that cavities are the number one infectious disease in children and that around 37% of the poor children with ages between 2 and 9 have untreated decayed teeth.
As the legislation was passed both in Senate and in the House, dental problems for the poor Illinois children will decrease. 31 December will mark the day that better access to oral health care will be provided in the state of Illinois.
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