Report Ranks the Best and Worst States for Children’s Oral Health

Dentistry Today


With Every Kid Healthy Week kicking off on April 22, WalletHub has announced its 2019 list of the best and worst states for children’s healthcare, including oral healthcare. According to the company, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island offer the best healthcare for kids overall, while Mississippi ranked last in the nation, preceded by Oklahoma and Alaska.

WalletHub painted a different picture in terms of oral healthcare, however, naming Iowa the best in the nation, followed by the District of Columbia, West Virginia, Rhode Island, and Colorado. Hawaii was last on its list, preceded by New Jersey, Nevada, Wyoming, and Washington.

WalletHub used 33 different metrics involving kids’ access to healthcare; kids’ nutrition, physical activity, and obesity; and kids’ oral health. The oral health metrics included:

  • Share of children aged 1 to 17 with excellent or very good teeth
  • Share of children aged 0 to 17 with recent medical and dental checkups
  • Share of children aged 0 to 17 lacking access to fluoridated water
  • Presence of state oral health plan
  • Presence of school-based dental-sealant programs
  • Dental treatment costs
  • Number of free or low-cost dental clinics per capita
  • Presence of state mandate for dental-health screening
  • Share of dentists participating in Medicaid for child dental services
  • Dentists per capita 

WalletHub’s experts emphasized the importance of oral and overall health in the lives of children and on their futures. 

“Healthy children have good school attendance, are better learners, higher achievers, and can participate in the workforce as adults,” said Lisa Honigfeld, PhD, vice president for health initiatives at the Child Health and Development Institute and vice president of the Children’s Fund of Connecticut.

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