Thursday, May 24, 2007

Smile Bright Baltimore!

And you thought this blog would only be about physical redevelopment. This post is more about oral redevelopment. How can Baltimore continue to make a comeback if its residents aren't in good health? In Baltimore's poorer neighborhoods there is little or no access to dental care. Watching the news when a witness or a neighbor is interviewed I can't help but notice that their teeth are in dire condition, sometimes all gone. This goes for younger children too, when they reach adulthood they are sure to experience the same dental problems as their elders. Now the easy solution is for these families to just go out buy a toothbrush, toothpaste mouthwash, and floss. And then they can call a dentist, orthodontist and a periodontist make appointments, present their insurance card and write a check for their co payment right? Wrong
Many Baltimoreans have little or no dental insurance. Even if they're covered by the city, state, or feds it takes forever to clear through the red tape and the care is lack luster. What I'm proposing is an expanded federally funded system that covers all Baltimore residents without dental insurance. It would cover all the facets of oral health; bi annual teeth cleaning, x rays, crowns, fillings, root canals, dental implants, and braces. Now why such a focus on dental health? and why Baltimore? More and more medical journals site evidence that poor dental health leads to much more serious health problems in the long term. As for Baltimore this can be a pilot program for other major cities with a large population that doesn't have dental insurance. I'd call the program Smile Bright! In addition to Smile Bright there would be a huge increase in free toothbrushes and toothpaste paid for by the feds.
With Baltimoreans in good oral health they can truly smile bright.


Erin said...

Where can I find more information about the Baltimore City dental health initiative?

Spence Lean said...

This is something that I inked and proposed myself, it's not something that the City is undertaking it's something I think the States and the Feds should start providing better and more comprehensive funding for Dentistry and Baltimore should be the location of its pilot prgram.