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Haves and Have-Nots: A Look at Children's Use of Dental Care in California

Nadereh Pourat, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

This snapshot examines the racial and ethnic differences and economic factors that contribute to disparities in dental care among California's children.

The burden of oral disease continues to fall more heavily on children from poor, minority households. And despite growing awareness of the lifelong effects of poor oral care, nearly one quarter of California children have never been to a dentist, including half of all children under the age of five.

Using the most recent data available from the 2005 California Health Interview Survey, this snapshot found that uninsured children were least likely to have had a recent dental visit and most likely to have never visited a dentist. Denti-Cal beneficiaries were least likely to have ever seen a dentist compared to those with other types of insurance.

Part of CHCF's new focus on oral health, the snapshot features suggestions for additional research and public health initiatives that could help underserved children get the dental care they need.

The complete snapshot is available under Document Downloads.

In addition, the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research published two fact sheets that examine children's use of dental services by California Assembly and Senate district. The fact sheets are available through the External Link below.

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