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New Massachusetts Regulation requires Toothbrushing in Daycares

January 28, 2010

Effective January 2010, the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC), working with the Massachusetts Office of Oral Health, is implementing a new oral care regulation for day cares and other child care settings.  This regulation states that licensees must assist children with brushing their teeth if: 1) the children are in care for more than 4 hours, or 2) they have a meal while in care. This is in response to the rampant dental decay found throughout the state of Massachusetts, especially in young children.  According to the EEC, dental decay for children in Massachusetts is at an incredibly high rate, including 25% of kindergarteners, 40% of 3rd graders, and even 30% of 6th graders! With this regulation, the state is hoping that dental decay in very young children will decrease in the short run.   And that with the newly instilled oral hygiene techniques these young kids will develop, the hope is that dental decay will decrease in the long run as well. More information can be found at the Massachusetts Office of Oral Health at www.mass.gov/dph/oralhealth


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