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Smile, Kids! Connecticut a Winner in Children’s Dental Care

February 23, 2010

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. - Over the past ten years, Connecticut has risen from mediocrity to star status on the issue of dental care for children. It's one of only six states to earn top ranking in a study released today by the Pew Center on the States. The study finds that nationally one child in five lacks dental care.

Patricia Baker, president and CEO of the Connecticut Health Foundation, says the foundation has made grants totaling $10 million in the past decade to promote dental care for kids in the state.

"When we first started this work, only 12 percent of the kids were getting treatment in Medicaid, so we have come a long way."

Now it's up to 41 percent.

Baker points out that, while the state ranks high in the report, much work remains to be done.

"I would really caution Connecticut not to rest on its laurels, but rather to continue the progress we've made to date."

She says one way to get care to more kids is to extend more care to their parents, and increasing payments to providers serving adults would promote better family dental care.

The full Pew report is at www.pewcenteronthestates.org

Melinda Tuhus, Public News Service - CT