Oral Health Status
Parents were asked to rate the condition of their children's teeth as excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor (excluding children under age 1 or who had no teeth). Overall, the parents of 70.7 percent of children reported that their children's teeth were in excellent or very good condition, while 20.9 percent reported the child's teeth to be in good condition and the remaining 8.4 percent reported them to be in fair or poor condition.
This proportion varied, however, by the child's age group. The parents of 77.9 percent of 1- to 5-year-olds rated the condition of their children's teeth as excellent or very good, compared to 64.7 percent of children aged 6-11 years and 70.6 percent of adolescents aged 12-17 years.
The condition of children's teeth also varied with household income. Of children with household incomes below the Federal poverty level (FPL), about half were reported to have teeth that were in excellent or very good condition (49.8 percent), compared to 61.3 percent of children with household incomes between 100 and 199 percent of the FPL, 76.0 percent of children with household incomes between 200 and 399 percent of the FPL, and 84.8 percent of children with household incomes of 400 percent or more of the FPL.
Parents also reported on 4 individual oral health problems that may have occurred in the previous 6 months. Parents of 19.4 percent of children reported that their children had decayed teeth or cavities within the past 6 months, while 10.7 percent of children had a toothache during that time. Less common were broken teeth and bleeding gums, occurring in 4.1 and 3.3 percent of children, respectively. In total, 26.7 percent of children were reported to have at least one of these oral health problems (data not shown).