Dental care is one of the greatest unmet needs among children. The latest data from 2013 show that nearly 16 million low-income children went without care. Pew’s work on children’s dental issues promotes cost-effective policies that expand access to dental care so that millions more children receive the treatment they need to grow, learn, and lead healthy lives.
Our research and advocacy efforts focus on several efficient, cost-effective strategies:
- Expanding the number of professionals who can provide high-quality dental care to low-income children.
- Ensuring that coverage from Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program leads to real care.
- Expanding access to fluoridated water.
- Expanding programs that provide dental sealants so that all children who need them receive them.
Our WorkView All
For decades, millions of Americans—many of them low-income—have been receiving inadequate oral health care. Some states are exploring innovative ways of expanding dental care to reach traditionally underserved populations. Read More
Washington state Senator David Frockt (D) and state Representative Eileen Cody (D) say that allowing dentists and clinics to hire dental therapists can help deliver affordable dental care to those who need it. Dental therapists—similar to a physician assistant on a medical team—perform routine preventive and restorative care, such as filling cavities. Read More
Tooth decay remains the most common chronic childhood disease in America, and the cause of too much unnecessary pain and suffering. One safe, effective—and cost effective—oral health prevention method is drinking fluoridated water. The map above shows how each state fares in terms of children’s access to fluoridated water. Read More