Report finds dental progress in NH

About 44% of New Hampshire third-graders have had an experience with tooth decay, according to a new survey.

The Healthy Smiles-Healthy Growth Survey was conducted in 81 public schools and involved 3,015 third-graders during the 2008-2009 school year.

The survey found that 12% had untreated decay, 60% had dental sealants, and 1% needed urgent treatment.

Among children in schools with high poverty rates, oral health was worse. Sixty-eight percent of those in schools where more than half qualified for subsidized lunches had experience with tooth decay, and 22% had untreated decay.

These statistics show an improvement since 2003, when over half of the state's children had experienced decay, according to the New Hampshire Child Advocacy Network.

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