Thursday, March 01, 2007

On Dental Care

An awful story about the importance of dental care for children can be found here. A simple and practical remedy would be to have a dental checkup at school every year. I used to get those, and if there was anything wrong with my teeth I was sent to the dentist's office, as were all the other children who needed work. It was possible to opt out of the checkup by having a note from a family dentist, but I can't remember anyone bothering to do that. The system worked, just as a similar checkup for overall health worked. Besides, imagine the easing of the parents' workload that this all allows: No need to book awkward appointments unless they were really needed.

Dental care is the stepchild in most health care plans, viewed as less important and less expensive. It may be less expensive, but the costs are still outside the reach of many families, and neglected teeth are not a good thing for general health.