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In Miami-Dade, Hispanics visit the dentist less than any other ethnic group. Here’s why.

December 11, 2019

By: Lautaro Grinspan

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Dental students, medical practitioners, academics, and policy-makers converged in a recent community event in Miami-Dade College, where they discussed disparities in local access to oral care.Among the issues raised was the fact that Hispanics in Miami-Dade County visit the dentist less than any other ethnic group.

In 2016, the most recent year for which Florida Department of Health data is available, only 59.8% of Hispanic adults had visited the dentist in the past 12 months. By comparison, 71.5% of the white, non-Hispanic adult population (and 67.8% of the black adult population) had gone to the dentist in that same stretch of time.

“Whether you are talking about oral health, or access to medical insurance, or even housing, you’re always going to find that the people who are at a disadvantage happen to be minorities,” said Camilo Mejia, Networks Director at Catalyst Miami, a local nonprofit that helped organize the recent oral health equity summit. “This is just a different dimension of how poverty manifests itself in the community.”

This story originally appeared on The Miami Herald.