Tooth decay widespread, but so is the war against it

By ASHLEY WEIGEL
Capital News Service
LANSING – One of the greatest health risks for Michigan children is right under their noses. Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease for children, said Angela Minicuci, public information officer of the Michigan Department of Community Health. More than half of all third graders—58 percent—have some tooth decay, according to the Department of Community Health, and 25 percent of those problems are left untreated. Dentists are distributing toothbrushes and educational materials in schools to students and teachers during February, said Tom Kochheiser, director of public affairs for the Michigan Dental Association, because it is National Children’s Oral Health month. Tooth decay is a big issue afflicting children, even though it is preventable through regular brushing, flossing and a healthy diet, Kochheiser said.

Vets skip dental care, unaware of possible aid

By SAODAT ASANOVA-TAYLOR
Capital News Service
LANSING – Many veterans go without dental care because they are unaware of state and federal programs that provide assistance. Lack of awareness of emergency grants among veterans can also result in delayed treatment, said Sen. Roger Kahn, R-Saginaw Township, who is also a physician. “If you wait too long to get dental treatment, it can result in more serious health problems,” he said. The Michigan Dental Association, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund have launched a campaign to raise awareness about assistance programs that veterans may be unaware of. Thomas Kochheiser, director of public affairs at the association, said many veterans don’t access their benefits.