Study: U.S. parents report improved oral health in kids

More U.S. parents are reporting that their children have very good or excellent oral health, according to a new study in Preventing Chronic Disease (December 5, 2013), a journal by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

The study examined changes in parent-reported children's oral health status and the number of preventive dental visits in 50 states and the District of Columbia. The researchers used data from the 2003 and the 2011/2012 National Survey of Children's Health.

The percentage of parents who reported that their children had "excellent or very good oral health" increased from 67.7% in 2003 to 71.9% in 2011/2012, according to lead study author Mahua Mandal, MPH, PhD , and colleagues from the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine and Mailman School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

In addition, the percentage of preventive dental visits for children increased from 71.5% in 2003 to 77.0% in 2011/2012. The number of children with excellent or very good oral health status increased in 26 states. Also, the prevalence of those with at least one preventive care dental visit during the year increased in 45 states.

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