W.Va. collecting data on kids' oral health

West Virginia is conducting a survey of the oral health of its children -- the first time the state has ever done so, according to a story by West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

The data is required by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and will strengthen West Virginia's chances of receiving federal money to help improve oral health, the story stated.

Hygienists from West Virginia University, the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department, and the state Department of Health and Human Resources children's dentistry program helped examine the children. The goal is to examine 1,000 children in 10 schools.

After noting the child's age and ethnic background, the hygienists examine each child's mouth to see if he or she has untreated decay, fillings, or sealants and determine if urgent treatment is needed.

The survey is also designed to help evaluate the effects of water fluoridation, according to the story. There are still communities that do not have a central fluoridated water supply.

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