Oral Health Assessments for Michigan Kindergartners next fall

Dental care starts young, so it’s never too early to consider oral health exams for your child. Ideally, kids should begin seeing a dentist regularly by the age of one, and proper brushing and flossing habits should start to be enforced at age three.

By the time children reach the age of five or six, baby teeth will start to fall out and care for permanent teeth will begin. As your child prepares to start school, it’s important to ensure their teeth are in the best possible condition so they can thrive in this next chapter of life. We know pediatric dental care — and kindergarten dental screenings — can come with a lot of questions, so we’re here to help answer them.

What is a Kindergarten Dental Screening?

The goal of a kindergarten dental screening is to check a child’s mouth for tooth decay and gauge whether or not oral health issues could occur down the line. These screenings will typically look like a routine oral exam, in which a dentist will examine each individual tooth for signs of decay. By assessing a child’s dental hygiene status at this stage of life, parents are given the opportunity to intervene early on and provide kids with the dental care they need.

Why Should My Child Get a Dental Screening Before Kindergarten?

Kindergarten dental screenings are important for many reasons, with an early emphasis on the importance of dental care being just one. For years, dental disease has been a major problem for young children, and is a primary source of missed school days. In 2015, Bridge Michigan reported a study by the Michigan Department of Community Health, which found that one in four Michigan third-graders have untreated dental disease.

Kindergarten dental screenings would seek to mitigate this problem, and, by limiting oral pain, can help children concentrate better and perform well in class. These oral exams can also serve communities as a whole by spreading awareness on the importance of oral health and why it should be addressed in young children.

Are Dental Screenings Required for Kindergarten?

According to Bridge Michigan, For Michigan kindergarteners next fall, open your mouth and say ‘ahh’ written by Robin Erb, thousands of first-time school children will now get one-time dental screenings starting next school year, adding dental to visual and hearing screenings already required under Michigan law.

Kindergarten Oral Health Assessments — KOHAs — will be required statewide under a new law signed last week by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. A child who hasn’t had a dental visit within six months of registering for kindergarten or first grade will be guaranteed a screening. In many cases, that screening will be provided by the local health department. Sometimes, dental hygienists may come to the school.

Are Dental Screenings Required for Kindergarten?

My Community Dental Centers in partnership with the Allegan County, Bay County Health Department and Detroit Health Departments is providing assessments at pre-enrollment and community events. My Community Dental Centers is committed to being a dental home for Michigan families and providing chidlren with dental assessment at regular dental visits.