Hawaii ranked the worst in nation for tooth decay in children, two senate bills aim to improve dental health
February is National Children's Dental Health Month, and there's been a recent push by lawmakers to improve Hawaii's oral hygiene.
HONOLULU (KITV) - February is National Children's Dental Health Month, and there's been a recent push by lawmakers to improve Hawaii's oral hygiene.
Sunday, keiki got a hands-on approach, in learning the benefits of keeping their teeth clean.
The Department of Health ranks Hawaii as the worst state in the nation when it comes to children's tooth decay. Senators are looking to reverse that, by introducing two bills:
SB-1012, adding fluoride to our public water supply, and SB 467, expanding dental health coverage for adults.
"Basic preventive cleanings and checkups and being able to fill cavities and so on. So its an effort to give them the same benefits children have," said Hawaii Dental Service's Mark Yamakawa.
Right now, adults on Medicaid have to pay out of pocket for any dental work they need, other than a tooth extraction.
As for our keiki, at the third grade level, health officials say we have more cavities than any other state, and prevention, is key.
Darrin Shadel and his two kids are a few of the hundreds of people in the community to attend the Hawaii Dental Service's Tooth Fairy Fun Day-- an event held every year at the Children's Discovery Center.
"They love the face painting events they have here. Learn a lot about oral hygiene," said Shadel.
Besides getting a chance to meet the tooth fairy herself, dentists were also on hand to provide free dental screenings to keiki, in an educational effort to change our state's dental rankings, for the better.