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News Brief

March 4, 2014DES MOINES, Iowa |  By: Thomas Pinney / Iowa News Service (INS)

More Iowa Children Seeing the Dentist

It is the most common chronic childhood disease, but across Iowa and the nation there are new requirements that could help take a bite out of kids’ tooth decay.
Pediatric dental care is one of the essential benefits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), meaning childhood dental care must be offered whether it’s part of a health plan or as an optional stand-alone. That should help get more children in the chair, says Dr. Paul Reggiardo with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

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Reggiardo says tooth decay and untreated cavities in childhood can lead to serious pain, and the negative effects of that spread out from there.

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As a result of the ACA, it’s estimated that as many as 8.7 million people aged 21 or younger will gain dental coverage nationwide by 2018. The next major deadline under the Affordable Care Act is just weeks away, with the first open enrollment period ending March 31, 2014 for those wanting a plan this year through the marketplace.