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Oral and Dental Health

Oral and Dental Health

child at dentist office

LEGISBRIEF: CHILDREN'S ORAL HEALTH

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease for children. As millions receive dental coverage under the Affordable Care Act, the demand for dental services is expected to strain the current workforce’s ability to meet their needs. States have adopted strategies to improve access to dental care for underserved populations.

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ORAL HEALTH PRIMER

Good oral health is key to good overall health, yet millions of Americans lack access to basic, affordable oral health care. Largely preventable, poor oral health can negatively impact quality of life by affecting speech, nutrition, growth and social development. Growing evidence links oral diseases to health conditions such as diabetes, heart and lung disease, and potential pregnancy complications.

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OVERVIEW

Oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease, can have reaching impacts into the health of the rest of the body. Oral health disease prevention measures are especially important for children to ensure proper oral health in the future. Dental disease is the most common chronic illness for children in the United States. Dental disease is preventable, yet dental care is the most common unmet health treatment need in children. Untreated dental problems can lead to pain, weight loss, missed school days, poor appearance, decreased self-esteem and even death. Policymakers consider many oral health issues including access to dental health care, oral health workforce issues, and water fluoridation.

 

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