Dentist offices specialize in Medicaid kids - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Dentist offices specialize in Medicaid kids

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Dr. Jeremiah Harris has been practicing in North Alabama a little more than five years. Dr. Jeremiah Harris has been practicing in North Alabama a little more than five years.
ATHENS, AL (WAFF) -

Lylianna Orona, 7, is a brave little girl. She's getting a couple of teeth filled at the dentist's office.

Her mom, Crystal Anderson, is one of many who take their children to a pediatric dentist office specializing in Medicaid kids.  

"Keep them clean, keep them looking nice for the future when her adult teeth come in. She looks nice and healthy," said Anderson.

The dentists at Children's Dentistry of Decatur have several offices in different cities. Two offices specialize in pediatric Medicaid patients.

Dr. Jeremiah Harris is one of the dentists.  

"I feel like we are the last resource for some of these families, and a lot physicians and dentists just do not want to treat these children. I think that somebody needs to have a heart for them," said Harris.

Harris said he's been practicing in North Alabama a little more than five years. 

"We love seeing the kids. I know a lot of the parents don't know we're around, but we're there for them," he said.

Some Medicaid recipients don't realize their minor children qualify for dental coverage. It covers children up to age 21.

Harris said babies should be brought in for a quick check up by a certain time in their development.  

"Children really need to be seen at the sign of their first tooth, and it's important to instruct the parents on how to brush the child's teeth," said Harris.

Lessons for parents are important to keep their children healthy. Many major health ailments start out as minor dental problems. That's why it's so important for children to have regular dental checkups.

Anderson said she's learned a lot. 

"Well I'd like her to keep all her teeth, first of all, and just make sure she stays healthy," she said.

If your child qualifies for Medicaid, they automatically qualify for dental benefits, but it's up to you to find a doctor.

The Alabama Medicaid Dental Program covers certain routine preventive and restorative services for children under the age of 21 who have full Medicaid eligibility. Medicaid does not cover any type of dental care for adults.

Dentists with any questions about the Alabama Medicaid Dental Program, or for assistance in resolving claims issues or policy questions, should call 334-353-5263.

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