Florida meets two of the eight policy benchmarks for strengthening children's dental health. Florida was the worst performer with regard to ensuring low-income children's access to care. Fewer than one in three Medicaid-enrolled kids received any dental services. During 2010, newspaper articles highlighted several challenges, such as the number of Florida communities that lack fluoridated water1 and the fact that 32 counties have no pediatric dentists who accept Medicaid.2,3
There are signs of potential improvements. The Florida Board of Dentistry voted in June 2010 to move forward with proposed rules to permit dental hygienists to apply sealants without supervision in Health Access settings, but as of July 1, 2010, when this survey was conducted, the rule had not been put into effect.4
1. K. Moore, “Fluoride Helps, Officials Say, But Fears Persist,” The Ledger, August 9, 2010; http://www.theledger.com/article/20100809/NEWS/8095105/1374?Title=Fluoride-Helps-Officials-Say-But-Fears-Persist, (accessed December 3, 2010,)
2. K. Moore, “Rural Youths' Teeth Neglected,” The Ledger, August 8, 2010; http://www.theledger.com/article/20100808/NEWS/8085049/1410?Title=Rural-Youths-Teeth-Neglected, (accessed December 3, 2010,)
3. K. Moore, “Gaps in Florida's pediatric dental care,” The Ocala Star-Banner August 8, 2010; http://www.ocala.com/article/20100808/ARTICLES/8081011, (accessed December 3, 2010,)
4. Pew Center on the States survey of state boards of dentistry, communication with Sue Foster, August 20, 2010.