Children in Louisiana, Mississippi have worst dental problems in nation

SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — More children in Louisiana suffer from oral health issues than any other state in the country.

Orthodontists at Celebrate Dental & Braces compiled information from the 2021 and 2022 National Children's Health Survey.

Data proves that in the 24 months starting in 2021, 19.1% of Louisiana children had oral health issues. Dental Sealants.

Mississippi's children are next to those in Louisiana, with 17.3% of children having oral health problems during the same period. Elsewhere in the country, an estimated 17% of children ages 6 to 9 have undiagnosed tooth decay. But in Mississippi, about 25 percent of children ages 6 to 9 have untreated tooth decay.

Compare Louisiana and Mississippi statistics to other states such as Rhode Island, where only 10.4% of children experience oral health problems within 24 months.

Dr. Kelsey Loveland of Celebrate Dental & Braces said differences in dental health across states are influenced by a combination of socioeconomic factors, public health policies and access to care.

“States with higher poverty rates, limited dental insurance coverage, and inadequate public health initiatives such as community water fluoridation and school dental programs tend to experience worse dental health outcomes,” Loveland said.

He also said targeted efforts are needed to improve access to health care and educate communities about the importance of oral hygiene. He also said that preventing dental disease can improve students' academic performance and improve the quality of life of students and future generations.

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