April 5, 2018

More than 20% of U.S. Kids Have Not Had Preventive Dental Care

In the United States, 54 million children had received preventive dental care in the last year, according to 2015-2016 data. This total represents 79% of kids nationwide.

Preventive dentistry is especially important for kids, whose teeth, mouth and gums are still developing. Treating cavities and abnormalities early — rather than waiting for dental problems to fully develop — saves patients time, pain and money, according to experts. Even more important: A healthy mouth helps children maintain better self-esteem, nutrition and overall health.

Children in Mississippi, Florida and Missouri are the least likely to have teeth in excellent or very good health (73%) while children in New Hampshire are most likely to have healthy teeth (88%).

Children whose teeth are in excellent or very good condition

Access more health data on the KIDS COUNT Data Center: