State Rep. Scott VanSingel this week introduced a plan for kindergarteners entering school for the first time to receive dental health screenings.
Michigan has required vision and hearing screenings for new kindergarteners for decades and VanSingel’s plan would add dental screenings to the requirement list to improve our children’s health.
More than one-quarter of children have tooth decay in baby teeth before entering kindergarten, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“This plan will ensure children receive early screenings from professionals and will prevent dental disease from developing,” said VanSingel, of Grant. “Health screenings are important. By identifying dental issues early, we will provide long-term medical savings for children who would otherwise never see a dentist.”
The Department of Health and Human Services will work with local public health agencies to help manage the screenings.
Dentists, dental hygienists, public officials, and school administrators support this plan, which has bipartisan co-sponsorship in the Michigan House of Representatives.
House Bill 4223 has been referred to the Families, Children, and Seniors Committee.