Where kids have the best oral health may surprise you

Boy Panoramic Xray

Massachusetts may be the U.S. state with the best children's health, in part due to it having the highest percentage of kids having medical and dental well visits during the past year, but the District of Columbia was ranked No. 1 for pediatric dental health.

Pennsylvania landed in second place for children's dental health followed by Illinois, according to a report released on April 9 from personal finance website WalletHub. In terms of children's oral health, New Jersey came in last place. Nevada and Oklahoma were ranked second and third, respectively, according to the results.

Multiple metrics, including the percentage of kids between the ages of 1 and 17 who had dental visits in the last year and the share of kids ages 0 to 17 who had excellent or very good teeth, were evaluated. Other factors used to come up with this listing included access to free or low-cost dental clinics per capita, the presence of state-mandated dental health screenings, the share of dentists participating in Medicaid for dental services, and the number of dentists per capita, WalletHub noted.

"Having access to quality pediatric and dental care, nutritious food and good spaces for recreation from a young age can give children a much better chance of growing up healthy and forming good habits that will last into their adult life," Cassandra Hubb, WalletHub analyst, said in the report.

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