The best states for pediatric health are mostly states that provide dental sealants to children

These stats could be telling us two things: either dental care is just lumped into overall care, or dental care is the first step to an overall healthy body.

Kid At Dentist

June 26, 2013

Kid At Dentist

On Monday, KIDS COUNT Data Center (a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation) published the 2013 KIDS COUNT Data Book on state trends in child well-being. The report focuses on economic well-being, education, health, and family and community.

The U.S. isn't doing enough to prevent tooth decay, says Pew report
Dental health professional shortage areas and inadequate preventive measures to blame for nation's poor oral health

We know that healthy oral habits start at an early age and we have to take care of the teeth we have as children to have a healthy set as adults. Since 16 million children are affected by untreated tooth decay and the mouth is the gateway to the rest of the body in terms of health, we thought we’d share these state rankings with you.

Starting a nationwide conversation on declining oral health

The best states for pediatric health in 2012 and 2013:
The worst states for pediatric health in 2012 and 2013:

Best In 2012Best In 2013

Worst In 2012Worst In 2013

Wondering how these rankings compare to the grades states received for oral health prevention in regards to sealant use? According to a Pew Center reportissued in January, Maine, Vermont, North Dakota, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and Alaska were all given A’s. Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, Minnesota, Colorado, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon were given B’s.

Bolded states are those that were on the same list (best or worst) for two years in a row. States in blue are those that earned a grade of an A or B on sealant use.

These stats could be telling us two things: either dental care is just lumped into overall care, or dental care is the first step to an overall healthy body. Whatever it is, we need to start taking more preventive measures in order to get our children on a healthy path – leading the next generation to caring more about prevention than treatment.

Author Lauren BurnsLauren Burns is the editor of Proofs magazine and the email newsletters RDH Graduate and Proofs. She is currently based out of New York City. Follow her on Twitter: @ellekeid.

More in Pediatric Dentistry