Christine Scheele: Kids' dental condition infuriating

October 24, 2013 

This story (Oct. 19, Page A1) left me incensed. How can a young child have half their teeth rotting, needing extreme dental intervention?

One doctor states children are 98 percent of his clients, with 97 percent on Medi-Cal.

What are parents feeding these children? How negligent are parents regarding basic hygiene?

Beyond receiving free dentistry for their grossly miscared-for children, are there any consequences?

Being poor or migrant is no excuse. Toothbrush and toothpaste aren’t expensive and are likely free to poor families. And let me say that many poor or migrant families care well for their children.

We weren’t well off when my sons were young. But I was diligent regarding hygiene and dental care. Maybe we’d have qualified for free services, but that never occurred to me. My children were my responsibility.

Parents are nonparenting, and the government makes it easy.

This story was doubly disturbing: innocent children having severe dental issues, and their parents getting a pass on it. Meanwhile, we pay and pay.

Certainly there are cases where assistance is warranted. But this story paints a different picture. Shame on parents who are so careless. Shame on a system that’s this enabling.

CHRISTINE SCHEELE

Modesto

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