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oral hygiene

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These days, hundreds of Texas pediatric dentists spend their days counseling parents about the importance of taking care of their young children’s teeth. Can Florida's troubled Medicaid dental program emulate Texas' success?

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In Florida's Manatee County, the lack of dental care was creating a crisis for children, and the chief witnesses were school nurses. In response, the county's health and education leaders have started working together to get kids into the dental chair.

Picture of Maggie Clark

Keriana Carll cries in pain nearly every day. Her mouth hurts. The 4-year-old has such severe dental disease that she had to get her front tooth pulled. But no dentist in Florida's Sarasota or Manatee County was willing to treat her.

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Only two of 103 listings were accurate, according to a Sarasota Herald-Tribune survey.

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott vetoed a universally-supported bill to bring dentists to underserved communities last year, despite the strong need for more dental care providers.

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Local communities and the federal government prioritize dental care, but Florida's state agencies don't have much to offer, according to a special series in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Picture of Maggie Clark

In Florida dental practices serving lots of Medicaid patients, parents are often barred from appointments.

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