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Friday Dental Download: January 31, 2014

We’re excited to introduce our new weekly blog feature, Friday Dental Download, which will be a roundup of the week’s top oral health news. This week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released their latest report on oral health disparities, a law was passed in California that requires all children have dental coverage and a study was published that may encouragedentiststo screenfor diabetes.Have thoughts on today’s news? Join the conversation on Twitter using #FridayDentalDL.

1. Kids' Cavities On The Rise, Report Finds
This Huffington Post article talks about a new report from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) which states that tooth decay is a common problem in children and is an issue that's growing. The startling data shows that an estimated 5 to 10 percent of US children will have had tooth decay by age of 3, with the number growing to 60 percent by age 5. It’s so important for parents to help their children develop good oral health habits early on, and we’ve got tips for caring for teeth of all ages here.

2. ADA report: Bringing disease prevention into communities
The ADA has released its latest report on oral health disparities in underserved populations, which states that dental caries (cavities) is the most prevalent childhood disease, affecting more than 25% of American children ages 2 to 5 and half of those ages 12 to 15. Further, 28% of people ages 35 to 44 have untreated caries and the rate is 18% in those 65 and older. DentaQuest is committed to improving access to high-quality, affordable dental care through programs like the DentaQuest Institute’s Early Childhood Caries Collaborative and the DentaQuest Foundation’s Oral Health 2014 initiative.

3. Study: Dental setting useful in early detection of diabetes
Robert Genco, DDS, professor of oral biology and microbiology at the State University of New York at Buffalo, conducted a study that found that screening for pre-diabetes and diabetes is feasible in a dental office, with acceptance by the dentists and dental office staff members, patients' physicians, and patients of course. Read the study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association here.

4. Covered California to embed kids' dental coverage in 2015
California announced this week that its health insurance exchange, Covered California, will embed pediatric dental coverage in all medical plans starting in 2015, after their board voted last week to require this coverage for all pediatric medical plans sold through the marketplace. We encourage states to ensure that people have options available to them so that they can choose whether to purchase their dental benefits as embedded or standalone plans.

This weekend, we’re excited to be a part of the Yankee Dental Congress in Boston, where members of our team will be presenting on a number of important dental topics. Keep an eye out for news and updates from the conference.