OPINION

Health and Wellness: You should care for your child’s teeth

Ann Cochran - Dallas County Health Department
Special to Dallas County News and Perry Chief

If your child missed a dental check-up this past year, schedule an appointment soon. Oral health is an important part of our overall wellness. 

In Iowa, kindergarteners and ninth graders must have proof of a dental screening. A screening is an exam that can detect problems early so they can be fixed before becoming a major issue. Read details on school dental screenings at idph.iowa.gov/ohds/school-screenings

Out-of-state students who transfer into Iowa grades kindergarten through high school are required to have a dental screening. Proof of a recent dental exam in another state will be accepted. 

If your son or daughter is entering college, check whether a physical and dental exam are required. 

By the way, dental screenings are not just for children. If you can’t afford a dentist, you may contact the Dallas County Health Navigators at 515-993-3750 or phn@dallascountyiowa.gov for help locating a low-cost or free dental clinic. This includes older adults on Medicare without dental coverage. Both Medicaid (Title 19) and the children's Hawk-I insurance program cover annual dental exams. If your child is not eligible for these programs, please contact Health Navigation for assistance in signing up your family for an alternate affordable health insurance.