The Michigan House Families, Children, and Seniors Committee today approved a plan introduced by state Rep. Scott VanSingel to help improve the dental health of children entering kindergarten.
Michigan schools already require vision and hearing screenings for new kindergarteners. VanSingel’s plan would add dental screenings to this list.
“Oral hygiene is important to our overall health – especially for children,” said VanSingel, of Grant. “Oral health problems are nearly 100 percent preventable. Adding dental health screenings at an early age will help identify early signs of dental disease, and establish healthy habits early in life.”
More than one in four children have decay in baby teeth before entering kindergarten, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The plan provides a clear and easy opt-out process for parents not interested in the screening.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will work with local public health agencies to help manage the screenings.
House Bill 4223 has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.