Oral Health Status

Parents of children aged 1 year and older who had at least one tooth were asked to describe the status of their children’s teeth as excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor. The percentage of children with excellent or very good oral health did not vary significantly across locations, ranging from 69.8 percent among children in small rural towns to 71.8 percent of those in urban areas.

In all locations, the youngest children (aged 1–5 years) were the most likely to have excellent or very good oral health (greater than 77 percent), while approximately two-thirds of older children were reported to have excellent or very good oral health. These proportions did not vary significantly across locations.

Within each location, the condition of children’s teeth varied by race and ethnicity, with non-Hispanic White children more likely than other children to have excellent or very good oral health. With regard to location, non-Hispanic White children in urban areas were more likely to report excellent or very good oral health than those in large and small rural areas (81.9 versus 76.3 and 74.6 percent, respectively). Non-Hispanic Black children in urban areas were also more likely than those in small rural areas to have excellent or good oral health (67.8 versus 55.0 percent, respectively), though there was no significant difference between urban and large rural areas (64.8 percent). In all locations, slightly more than half of Hispanic children were in excellent or very good oral health, and this percentage did not vary significantly by location.

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