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Palmetto child’s tooth decay leads to neglect charge

PALMETTO — A Palmetto mother has been arrested on a charge of child neglect after authorities say she did not seek dental care for her child who showed advanced tooth decay, according to a Palmetto police report.

Police say Tamika White, 19, did not obtain dental care for her daughter who suffers from “bottle mouth,” a severe condition of infant tooth decay.

White’s mother became concerned when she saw her granddaughter’s teeth and after the infant complained of tooth pain. The child’s age was not released.

Police reports say White took her daughter to a dentist at the Lawton Chiles Children & Family Health Care Center and the dentist referred her to a specialist due to the child’s advanced tooth decay. White told police she did not take her child to the specialist because the dentist did not take Medicaid.

White was arrested Wednesday on a child neglect warrant after police said she failed to return to the dentist for care or look for another specialist who accepts Medicaid, the police report said. White was being held in the Manatee County jail without bond.