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The numbers add up for children’s dental health in six states

Feb 03, 2012

February is National Children’s Dental Health month, as sponsored by the American Dental Association (ADA). The purpose of the observance is to highlight the importance of oral health nationwide.

Every February the ADA promotes the development of good oral habits for children at an early age, including scheduling regular dental visits to help kids get a healthy start on caring for their teeth and gums over a lifetime.

Below are some numbers on U.S. children’s dental health reported by the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation, an arm of the Pew Center on States.

  • 1 — Rank of tooth decay on the list of most common childhood diseases
  • 4.5 million children develop dental disease every year
  • 29.2 percent of American children aged six to eight experiencing untreated tooth decay, per the national average
  • 72 percent of Native American and Alaska Native children experiencing untreated tooth decay
  • 40.6 percent of Mexican-American children experiencing untreated tooth decay

The Pew Center on States released a study in 2010 grading states in how they have addressed children’s dental needs via “proven and promising policy approaches.” South Carolina was one of six states to receive an A, the highest grade possible. Other states receiving A’s were Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, Rhode Island and New Mexico.

South Carolina met seven of the eight benchmarks; the other states listed met six.

— Sources: The Pew Center on States; The National Children’s Oral Health Foundation, Children Health Wizard

Copyright 2012, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC ©

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