Why Is This Important?The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/children_adults/child.htm (CDC)] says about 1 of 5 (20%) children aged 5 to 11 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth. Gender is not a significant factor in decay however, race and percent of poverty level are significant factors. Untreated dental caries is an important indicator of adequate and timely access to dental care.
Percentage of 6- to 9-year-old Children With Untreated Dental Caries, Utah, 2000-2015
Data SourceUtah Oral Health Survey, Utah Department of Health
Data NotesNext survey planned for 2020. 2000 and 2005 data are for ages 6 to 8 years.
Risk FactorsCurrently, only 52% of Utahns are drinking optimum fluoridated water. Other risk factors include eating habits, such as frequent snacking and pop consumption, not brushing/flossing regularly, and not visiting the dentist regularly.
How Are We Doing?Of the first through fourth grade students screened in 2015, 4.4% of participants reported that their child needed dental care during the past 12 months but could not get it.
What Is Being Done?Some Utah Department of Health activities addressing access to dental care include:
* In 2012 the number enrolled for Medicaid dental benefits was 169,000 children from birth through 18 years of age.
* In 2012 the number enrolled in Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was 36,000 children eligible for basic dental services.
* The Utah Oral Health Initiative facilitates the formation of local oral health coalitions to improve access to dental care.
Healthy People Objective: Reduce the proportion of children aged 6 to 9 years with untreated dental decay in their primary and permanent teethU.S. Target: 25.9 percent
Date Indicator Content Last Updated: 09/30/2019