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Oral Health of Children in Iowa

Little girl showing her teeth

The new report from the PPC Health Research Program looks at the dental health of Iowa's children. Oral Health in Children in Iowa is the latest research based on the 2010 Iowa Child and Family Household Health Survey (IHHS). The analysis finds that oral health and access to dental care is quite good for children in Iowa. About four out of five children, or 82%, had dental insurance at the time of the survey (although this was lower than health care coverage at 97%). Moreover, nine out of 10 children were reported to have one main place where they went to receive dental care.

There are areas of concern, however. Disparities exist for certain populations in the state, with low-income children being significantly more likely to have lower oral health status, an unmet need for care, and delays in getting care when they need it. African American children were most likely to have an unmet need for care, while Hispanic children were reported to have the lowest oral health status.

The IHHS is a comprehensive, statewide effort to evaluate the health status, access to health care, and social environment of children and families in Iowa. The first IHHS was conducted in 2000; subsequent surveys were completed in 2005 and 2010.