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Oral Health Knowledge Gap Contributes to Children's Issues
Date:9/14/2009

OAK BROOK, Ill., Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- While a majority of Americans rate their children's oral health as "excellent," there are clear gaps in understanding of basic oral health procedures and actual behavior.

That's one of the key findings from a survey(1) of American children's oral health, conducted on behalf of Delta Dental Plans Association, the nation's leading dental benefits provider.

One example: Only 36 percent of the respondents completely agree that a child should go to the dentist by age 1 or within six months after the first tooth erupts, even though that's the time recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). Two-thirds of those surveyed said their child had seen a dentist, but the average age of the first visit was 2.6 years.

Delta Dental commissioned the survey of primary caregivers to build greater knowledge about the state of children's oral health.

Nearly nine of 10 Americans (87 percent) agree that it is equally important to get good medical care and dental care. Children covered by dental insurance are much more likely to have visited the dentist than uninsured children, 69 percent versus 54 percent. Covered children also made their first visit to the dentist at an earlier age, at a mean of 2.5 years, compared to 3 years for uninsured children. And more than 85 percent of survey respondents who have insurance for their child rate dental coverage as "very important."

Other key findings:

  • About three in five Americans (58 percent) report that their child's overall oral health is excellent.
  • Among those who rate their child's oral health as less than excellent, 45 percent say that not enough brushing or poor brushing technique is the biggest obstacle to excellent oral health. Another 20 percent say the biggest obstacle is a poor diet - not enough f
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SOURCE Delta Dental Plans Association
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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