General Approbation?

Massachusetts has become the first state to require tooth brushing in pre-schools and day care centers for any child who has at least one meal there or attends more than four hours a day. The program came as a result of a 2003 state study which found that one in four Massachusetts kindergartners have dental disease. Parents who feel strongly against can opt out. One would think such a small program dealing with health, education, prevention and young children, would have general approbation. Of course, it doesn’t. There are those who believe it an intrusion of the government—though it would seem less intrusive than traffic laws—and there are those who even are concerned about the spread of germs from toothbrushes and the spitting associated with brushing—though that would be so for any tooth brushing in anyone’s home. The inevitable objections may be a sign of the age we live in, where general approbation is elusive even for the most benign issue, but it does not make it constructive.