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Gov. Whitmer Signs Bills to Ensure Michigan Children have Access to a Dental Check-Up Before Kindergarten

Feb 23, 2024


December 13, 2023


Gov. Whitmer Signs Bills to Ensure Michigan Children have Access to a Dental Check-Up Before Kindergarten

LANSING, Mich.—Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation to establish a dental oral assessment program. 

“These bills will prioritize the health and safety of our children by testing dental health at a young age,” said Governor Whitmer.“Since I took office, we have expanded access and lowered the cost of health care. Let’s keep working together to make sure every child is safe, healthy and can build a bright future in Michigan.”

Senate Bill 280,sponsored by state Senator Sam Singh (D-East Lansing), requires dental oral assessmentsfor children who are registering for the first time in kindergarten or the first grade in a Michigan school. The program will serve 112,000 kindergarteners in Michigan through the work of the State of Michigan and Delta Dental.

“Dental health is often overlooked when we talk about the health and development of our kids. All families need access to care to ensure their children stay healthy and can be successful,” saidstate Senator Sam Singh (D-East Lansing). “Today, I'm pleased to see Senate Bill 280, requiring a dental check for kids entering kindergarten or first grade, has been signed into law by the Governor. It's a sensible step toward ensuring our children's well-being as they take their first steps into their educational journey.”

“Requiring dental assessments for kindergartners will help tens of thousands of children across Michigan and increase access to dental health care,” said Holli Seabury, EdD, executive director of the Delta Dental Foundation(DDF). “This important law will help improve kids’ health and set them up for success in school and beyond.”

“Along with all the members of the Michigan Oral Health Coalition, we are excited that our local public health departments will continue to provide this valuable screening to our incoming kindergarteners across Michigan,” saidAmy Zaagman, Executive Director, Michigan Council for Maternal and Child Health. “Oral health is critically important to overall wellbeing and the ability to learn, grow and thrive. Screening is the first step towards connecting families to oral health care providers in their area anxious to help meet the needs of children.”