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New Mass. Law Forces Tooth Brushing in Day Care

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This BOSTON -- A new mandate in Massachusetts requires day care providers to help children brush their teeth after a meal, WCVB-TV in Boston reported.

boy brushing teeth

While it's a state law, parents can opt out.

Under the law, any child who has a meal in day care or is in care for more than four hours will be required to brush his or her teeth, according to the Department of Early Education and Care.

"We've notified the parents and we've talked to all the children about tooth brushing and good oral hygiene," said Nicole Chan, who works at Knowledge Beginnings in Needham, Mass.

Improving oral hygiene is the driving force behind the new regulations.

"One out of four children have tooth decay. Fifty percent of them aren't treated," said Dr. Maria Georgaklis, a pediatric dentist who works at Cleveland Circle Dental Associates.

Georgaklis said parents should embrace the regulations to protect their teeth of their children.

"This will prevent tooth decay," she said.

But some parents are concerned about germs. Knowledge Beginnings has a system in place to address this issue.

"We're providing the toothbrushes, the holders, the cases and the toothpastes, as well," said Chan.

And teachers are the only ones who can hand the child their toothbrush.

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4 comments so far | Post a comment now
Sara January 19, 2010, 3:56 PM

Fantastic! When my daughter was in a military run center they all brushed their teeth after they ate. It was just something they did and the toothbrushes were all provided by the center and cared for by the teachers. I wish they could push that up into elementary school.

Sally January 20, 2010, 12:45 PM

Terrible! Those poor daycare workers. First, dirty diapers and now brushing teeth? I have a feeling rates will go up for daycare. Out of curiousity what will my child be doing while the other 6 kids in his group at daycare are waiting to have their teeth brushed?

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