Low income children in WI not getting enough dental care, data s - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Low income children in WI not getting enough dental care, data shows

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Eau Claire (WQOW) -- Low income children aren't getting the dental treatment they need, which could cause bigger health problems over time. 

According to federal data, less than one third of children in Wisconsin on Medicaid, more commonly known as Badger Care, got dental care in 2015. That's the lowest rate in the United States. 

Dr. Chris Johnson, a dentist in Eau Claire, told News 18 going without oral care can lead to other health issues. 

"If parents aren't seeking treatment for their children, they're not just baby teeth, they're important place holders for adult teeth," Dr. Johnson said. "They're important on the child's comfort and health and those teeth could, if the area of decay or some sort of dental disease goes on, it can become a dental abscess, become an infection that [could] possibly threaten their life." 

Dr. Johnson also told News 18 the Medicaid program in Wisconsin is under-funded and said only one percent of the entire Medicaid budget is spent on dental. He hopes people will be better represented by increasing Medicaid's percentage on dental care. 

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