Letters to the Editor

Dental health key to good health

To the Journal editor:

Nearly 1 million low-income Michigan children under age 21 enrolled in Medicaid have dental coverage at no cost to their families through Healthy Kids Dental.

Healthy Kids Dental is a partnership between the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Delta Dental of Michigan designed to help children with Medicaid receive dental care.

With HKD expanded in October, more children now have access to dental exams, cleanings, X-rays, fillings, fluoride treatments, sealants and more at no cost to their families.

Based on studies affirming HKD’s effectiveness in improving access to dental care, Michigan lawmakers and governors on both sides of the aisle have expanded the program through the years. It’s now available in every Michigan county.

And while a growing number of children are participating in HKD since its launch, more could receive dental care if we spread the word about the program. It’s up to us to make sure that children with Medicaid receive quality dental care. If you work with children who have Medicaid, you can spread the word. Let’s make sure every child who has HKD, uses it.

This is a goal worth reaching since good oral health is important to overall health and well-being. Children miss 51 million hours of school every year due to dental problems which means they miss critical instruction time.

Further, tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease in America, affecting 50 percent of first-graders. Increasing access to dental care produces healthier children who are more likely to succeed in school and in life.

And because more than 80 percent of Michigan’s dentists participate in HKD, finding a dentist close to home is easy. Studies show children with HKD coverage are more likely to receive dental treatment than those with traditional Medicaid fee-for-service dental coverage. In fact, dental visits are substantially higher for children who have HKD, and children are more likely to have a “dental home.”

It’s the perfect time to talk about the importance of good oral health and to encourage regular dental visits. Let’s start by encouraging all parents and caregivers to make their children’s dental health a priority and for those with HKD, let’s encourage them to use it.

To learn more about HKD, visit healthykidsdental.org

Laura Czelada, CPA

President and chief executive officer

Delta Dental of Michigan

Power and influence of drama

To the Journal editor:

I am a proud supporter, participant, and contributor to the arts. I find immense value personally and I know its positive effects on culture and society.

The support I have for the arts brings myself and my family to the Superior Arts Youth Theater productions regularly. I’m continually surprised at the high level of talent found at these plays not only with actors and actresses but with the pit orchestra, set designers, costume designer, the level of singing and harmonies, and the overall professionalism of the productions.

Today’s production of “Cinderella,” which I went to with my two young daughters, left me feeling like an opportunity was missed. As usual the performance was excellent with the pit orchestra stealing the show, however, the content and themes of the production missed the mark.

We all know the story of “Cinderella.” I know what I signed up for but the level of vanity and lack of feminine empowerment depicted was embarrassing and out of step with the times and our community. I expected the stepmother and her daughters to be brimming with vanity and egotism.

I, however, didn’t find nearly enough contrast between them and Cinderella for the play to provide the messages to our impressionable youth that they deserve and I hope to foster in my own children.

If the play didn’t allow for messages of social and gender equality to present themselves perhaps, because of the profound impact that theater has on young minds, another should have been selected.

Doug Kitchel


Extend travel ban to Asian carp

To the Journal editor:

Mr. Trump has a fixation for travel bans so I have a suggestion. If his mission is to keep terrorists from attacking us, he should issue a travel ban on the Asian carp.

We know for sure that each and every one of them is a “bad dude” that will, if given the opportunity, destroy the Great Lakes and much of our way of life.

This ban would definitely appeal to his base. I’m sure all of the Superior whitefish would enthusiastically support it.

Randy Annala