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Should teethbrushing be mandatory in preschools?

At the start of the New Year the state of Massachusetts passed new regulations that it be mandatory for daycare centers to brush the children's teeth.  These centers are at risk of losing their licenses if they do not comply with the new regulations.  Regulating daycare is nothing new; however, this new measure seems to be putting a whole new burden on daycare providers.

Granted, the idea and motivation behind the measures are understandable.  Establishing good oral hygiene habits are very important.  It would be great if this started at home but that is not always the case.  At the same time, putting this burden on daycare providers could prove to be difficult to manage. 

Working as a preschool teacher in a daycare center in the past, I can testify that it would be a difficult process to go through everyday.  There are so many children in care, along with the fact that brushing a young child's teeth can be a challenge.  Some children are better at it than others.  Space is also an issue. Where do you keep all these toothbrushes and how do you keep them in sanitary conditions?  So far this has only been mandated in Massachusetts but there is always the chance other states could adopt the rule. 

I would love to hear from readers their thoughts on this issue.  If the State of Wisconsin adopted this mandate, how would you feel?  Whether you are a parent or a teacher, I would love to hear your thoughts!




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