Most of Palm Beach County in Florida is fluoridated. "Applying national pediatric dental epidemiologic rates to the County, it is estimated that at least 20-25,000 County children under age six have experienced tooth decay and that at least 15,000-18,000 have untreated disease. The majority of these children are minority and living in poor or near poor families and are eligible for one of Florida’s various Medicaid and CHIP programs, all of which offer robust dental coverage.
These PBC children remain overwhelmingly underserved as CDHP’s investigations confirmed. In calls to 323 of the County’s 337 general, pediatric, and orthodontic practices seeking a dental appointment for a child in Medicaid, only 7 of 285 general dentists (2%), 5 of 19 pediatric dentists (26%), and 4 of 33 orthodontists (12%) accept a new Medicaid-insured child as a patient. Children in CHIP are slightly better served as 16 additional dentists participate in CHIP but not Medicaid (7 general dentists, 3 pediatric dentists, 6 orthodontists). Overall, only one-in-13 primary care dental practices in PBC accept children with public insurance coverage. Almost all of these few providers accept children in Medicaid who also have special healthcare needs. Even if every general and pediatric dentist in the County were to participate equally in Medicaid and CHIP, each would need to serve approximately 200 more school aged children."