Michigan meets half of the eight policy benchmarks for children's dental health needs. The birthplace of community water fluoridation (in 1945, Grand Rapids became the first city in the world to fluoridate), the state continues to provide optimally fluoridated water to nearly 90 percent of its residents on public systems.1
Legislators reinstated adult Medicaid dental benefits for fiscal year 2010, after cutting all of these services in the 2009 fiscal year.2 Research indicates that parents who visit dentists are more likely to secure care for their children.3
Michigan has also released a new oral health plan, which provides a blueprint for further progress.4 However, despite the success of the state's Healthy Kids Dental program in rural areas, Michigan overall perfomance falls below Pew's threshold for the percentage of Medicaid-enrolled children who receive care and for its Medicaid payment rates to dentists.
1. “Grand Rapids, Mich., Dedicates Historic Marker to Fluoridation,” ADA News (October 18, 2010) http://www.ada.org/news/4907.aspx (accessed December 10, 2010).
2. K. Kim, “Vision, Dental, Podiatry Reinstated for Medicaid” (September 21, 2010) http://www.wilx.com/news/headlines/103493714.html (accessed February 24, 2011).
3. “Children More Likely to Visit the Dentist If Their Parents Do, Too,” ScienceDaily, (February 16. 2010). http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100201091634.htm (accessed April 2011).
4. Michigan Department of Community Health, “Michigan Oral Health Plan,” (March 2010) http://michigan.michigan.gov/documents/mdch/Michigan_State_Oral_Health_Plan_FINAL_2_326169_7.pdf (accessed December 10, 2010).
5. Weighted average of fee-for-service and managed care payment rates.