Closing the gap in dental care for young people | Health info


Wholesome smiles were shared Monday at the Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club in Greater Saint-Louis [BGCSTL] location in Grand and Dodier.

CareSTL Health and BGCSTL have partnered to provide dental services to members on-site, where children and teens can receive routine dental exams, cleanings, x-rays, sealants and fillings.

State Representative LaKeysha Bosley and Alderman Brandon Bosley, both former members of the BGCSTL, said the clinic will provide much-needed dental care in the uptown area.

“It’s a joy,” State Rep. Bosley said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the clinic.

“Health is wealth. This clinic will provide dental care where it is needed. She added that the clinic will also provide the opportunity ‘to have people like us to take care of us.’

Alderman Bosley said he had his teeth checked and cleaned as a child at the same BGCSTL site, “and I can’t wait to bring my son here too”.

Indigo Sams, BGCSTL’s vice president of operations, said she looked forward to the clinic “cleaning thousands of teeth”.

“It’s important for the health care needs of all the children in this neighborhood,” she said.

BGCSTL members can receive dental care, teeth cleanings at the Herbert Hoover location! To make an appointment for a child or teenager, visit

Once the form is completed, the CareSTL team will contact you to schedule an appointment. Missouri residents are eligible, there are no parent or guardian out-of-pocket costs, and most insurances are accepted. Insurance enrollment assistance can also be provided if needed.

“We are thrilled with this reopening,” said Karen Jones, Vice Chair of the Board of CareSTL.

“This partnership is very important to us. This will bring more dental care to North St. Louis.

According to statistics from the Oral Health Division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2011 to 2016, there are several oral health disparities among children and adolescents between the ages of 2 and 19.

For children ages 2 to 5, about 33% of Latino children and 28% of non-Hispanic black children had cavities in their primary teeth, compared to 18% of non-Hispanic white children.

For children ages 12 to 19, nearly 70% of Latino and black children had cavities in their permanent teeth, compared to 54% of non-Hispanic white children.

For children aged 2 to 5, 17% of children from low-income households have untreated cavities in their primary teeth, three times the percentage of children from high-income households.

Between the ages of 12 and 19, 23% of children from low-income families have untreated cavities in permanent teeth, twice as many as children from high-income families.

Children aged 6 to 19 from low-income households are about 15% less likely to have sealants and twice as likely to have untreated cavities compared to children from higher-income households.

An “insurance gap” also prevents African Americans from receiving annual dental visits.

A study from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and the College of Dental Medicine surveyed African American adults with recent oral health symptoms, including toothache and gum disease.

The findings provide insight into why disparities persist even among those with dental insurance and suggest strategies for removing barriers to dental care.

“The lack of affordable dental care and insurance coverage causes many of our participants to postpone or go without dental care, often for years. But these untreated symptoms inevitably get worse, forcing people to seek treatment in the emergency room at a much higher public cost than if they had received dental care when the symptoms first appeared,” the authors wrote. study authors.

“Given research data on the relationship between untreated oral symptoms and systemic health problems such as cardiovascular disease and stroke, providing better oral health treatment may not only reduce suffering , but also prevent costly physical health problems in the future.”

Flint Fowler, president of the BGCSTL, said in a statement that the BGCSTL “is grateful to CareSTL Health for ensuring that the care of children in the region is a priority.”

“Regular access to oral health care is essential for the overall well-being of children. The Club prides itself on being a safe place for children to grow and learn while providing a supportive environment to receive that dental care.

Angela Clabon, president and CEO of CareSTL Health, said in a statement that the clinic is part of its mission “to make health care more accessible to families.”


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