Fluoride Action Network

New Jersey children receive the country’s worst dental care, according to study

Source: PressofAtlanticCity.com | February 23rd, 2010 | From Press staff reports

New Jersey provides the country’s worst dental health care for children, according to a report released by the Pew Center on the States.

The Cost of Delay: State Dental Policies Fail One in Five Children shows New Jersey meeting one of eight benchmarks – Medicaid payments to dentists, even though less than a third of the state’s dentists participate in Medicaid.

According to the study, less than a quarter of state residents have fluoridated water – the only state in the Northeast that provides fluoridation to less than half of its residents. The state’s sealant programs and inability to reimburse physicians for providing basic preventative dental services to children were also criticized.

New Jersey was one of 9 states to receive an “F” grade.

In a press release, Shelly Gehshan, director of the Pew Children’s Dental Campaign, urged state lawmakers to expand dental care for children.

“By enacting a handful of effective policies, New Jersey can help eliminate the long-term health and economic consequences of untreated dental disease among kids,” Gehshan said.