from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care :
“EEC’s new regs require educators to assist children in brushing their teeth whenever children remain in care for more than four hours and/or consume a meal in child care.
One in four Massachusetts kindergartners have dental decay; 50% of which goes untreated. Low income children affected almost twice as often as their more affluent peers.
Early tooth loss is linked to failure to thrive, impaired speech development, poor concentration, and reduced self-esteem.
For these reasons, many EEC-licensed programs (including all Massachusetts Head Start programs) already practice regular tooth-brushing.
EEC is working in partnership with the Department of Public Health and others to improve oral health in Massachusetts and will provide training and resources to assist programs in implementing these requirements.”
Children Required To Brush After Meals
A new mandate in Massachusetts will require day care providers to help children brush their teeth after a meal.As NewsCenter 5’s Liz Brunner reported Monday, while it’s a state law, parents can opt out.
Tooth brushing is becoming part of the daily routine at day cares across Massachusetts.
Starting this month, any child who has a meal in day care or is in care for more than four hours will be required to brush their teeth, according to the Department of Early Education and Care.
“We’ve notified the parents and we’ve talked to all the children about tooth brushing and good oral hygiene,” said Nicole Chan, who works at Knowledge Beginnings in Needham, Mass.
Improving oral hygiene is the driving force behind the new regulations.
“One out of four children have tooth decay. Fifty percent of them aren’t treated,” said Dr. Maria Georgaklis, a pediatric dentist who works at Cleveland Circle Dental Associates.
Georgaklis says parents should embrace the regulations to protect their teeth of their children.
“This will prevent tooth decay,” she said.
But some parents are concerned about germs. Knowledge Beginnings has a system in place to address this issue.
“We’re providing the toothbrushes, the holders, the cases and the toothpastes, as well,” said Chan.
And teachers are the only ones who can hand the child their toothbrush.
Even though the tooth brushing requirement is a state mandate, parents can opt out.”
Where was State Senator Scott Brown when these regs were passed ?
Is newly elected US Senator Brown in the pocket of the dental industry ?
What about Martha Coakley ? Was she too busy not campaigning ?
Why was this news timed to coincide with the release of the new
dental themed movie TheToothfairy starring pro wrestler Dwayne
(“The Rock”) Johnson ?
Would Massachusetts’ generous movie industry tax credits have anything to do with it ?