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Bar graph: Children by Location Bar graph: Children by Location and Age Bar graph: Children by Location and Poverty Status

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Preventive Dental Care

In addition to an annual preventive medical care visit, it is also recommended that children see a dentist every 6 months beginning by age 1.1 The majority of children aged 1-17 years (78.4 percent) received at least one preventive dental visit in the past year. This percentage is higher among urban children (78.7 percent) than among those in small rural areas (75.9 percent).

Rural children aged 1-5 years, like their urban counterparts, were less likely than older children to have made a preventive dental visit, with only about half doing so. Among children aged 6-11, those in large rural areas were less likely to have an annual dental checkup than those in urban areas (85.5 percent versus 90.1 percent).

Children in households with higher incomes, regardless of geography, were more likely to receive preventive dental care. At least 85 percent of children with household incomes of 400 percent of the Federal poverty level (FPL) or more received an annual visit, compared to as few as 67.5 percent of those with household incomes below the FPL.

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1 Casamassimo P. Bright Futures in Practice: Oral Health. Arlington, VA: National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health, 1996.