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Children’s cavity prevention

Published (5/13/2010)
By Lauren Radomski
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Primary care providers are encouraged to provide basic cavity prevention services to children and teens on Medical Assistance, under a new law signed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty May 11.

Sponsored by Rep. Kim Norton (DFL-Rochester) and Sen. Kathy Sheran (DFL-Mankato), the law specifies cavity prevention services that may be offered to children and teens during check-ups or episodic visits. These include a general visual examination of a child’s mouth, as well as a risk assessment based on factors established by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. With parental consent, providers may administer a fluoride varnish to children ages 1 and older who are assessed as being high-risk.

Providers who choose to provide cavity prevention services will need to give a child’s parent or legal guardian information on caries etiology and prevention, and discuss the importance of finding a dentist. These actions must be documented in the child’s medical record.

The law takes effect Aug. 1, 2010.

HF984/ SF633*/CH307

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