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Friday Dental Download: November 14, 2014

This week we learn how Colorado is leading the way in oral health, discover how mucus in the mouth fights cavities, and discuss why millions of kids on Medicaid are missing free, preventive exams. Don’t forget to check out our Movember blog post to learn more about the relationship between men’s health and dental health, and our new blog series, Why it Matters to Me. Join the conversation on Twitter using #FridayDentalDL.

1. Colorado leads the way in oral health: In May 2013, Gov. John Hickenlooper called oral health "a winnable battle for Colorado" when he signed into law a bipartisan bill that provides dental benefits for low income adults through the state's Medicaid program, beginning in 2014. Until this July, Colorado's Medicaid adult dental benefits were limited to emergency services only, stopping residents from receiving the preventive care they needed to keep their mouths healthy. Now, Medicaid covers preventive care such as cleanings, minor fillings, and x-rays as well as comprehensive services including root canals, crowns, partial dentures, periodontal scaling and root planning. We’re proud of the work in Colorado and excited that residents are on their way to better oral health.

2. How Mucus In Mouth Fight Cavities, Harvard University Study: A recent study released by Harvard University researchers found that salivary mucins, key components of mucus, actively protect teeth from bacteria in the mouth that is a significant contributor to tooth decay. The bacteria attach to teeth and cause them to dissolve, which is a direct cause of tooth decay. The salivary mucins prohibit those bacteria from attaching to teeth.

3. Report: Millions of kids on Medicaid miss free, preventive exams: The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (OIG) reported Thursday that missions of low-income children are missing the free preventive exams and screenings guaranteed by Medicaid. According to the report, 63 percent of children on Medicaid received at least one medical screening in 2013, up from 56 percent in 2006, but still far below the department’s 80 percent goal. According to the National Academy for State Health Policy, data collection is an issue for some states, but it doesn’t explain most of the low rates. In addition to the shortage of doctors participating in Medicaid, parents often face transportation and language barriers getting children in for the exams

4. DentaQuest Pediatric, Adult and Family Dental Plans Available on health Insurance Marketplaces: DentaQuest has received certification as a Qualified Health Plan to offer individual and small group stand-alone dental plans on the 2015 Federal Marketplace in the states of Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and on Maryland Health Connection, the State Marketplace in Maryland. The Open Enrollment period for 2015 coverage begins Saturday, November 15, 2014 and runs through February 15, 2015. For more information about your options clickhere.