Trends in the Well-Being of America's Children and Youth, 1997. HC 2.11 Dental caries

04/01/1997

"Dental caries" is a technical term referring to either treated or untreated tooth decay in one or more teeth. Proper preventive care reduces the incidence of dental caries. The presence of dental caries may indicate a lack of access to preventive care or a lack of information about preventive techniques.31

Racial and Ethnic Differences in Dental Caries. Mexican American children ages two through four had the highest prevalence of dental caries in their primary teeth (see Figure HC 2.11). Almost one-third of Mexican American children had dental caries compared to 22 percent of black children and 13 percent of white children. Mexican American children also had the highest prevalence of dental caries in permanent teeth, but the gap among children ages five through 17 was much smaller than it was for younger children. Black children had the lowest percentage of dental caries with 39 percent, compared to 45 percent for white children and 49 percent for Mexican American children.
 

Figure HC 2.11  
Percentage of Children with Dental Caries 1988-1991 

HC2_11.GIF

Source: Kaste, L.M., Selwitz, R.H., Oldakowski, R.J., Brunelle, J.A., Winn, D.M., & Brown, L.J. (1996) Coronal Caries in the Primary and Permanent Dentition of Children and Adolescents 1-17 Years of Age: United States, 1988-1991. Journal of Dental Research, 75, 631-641. Rockville, MD: National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Dental Research, Division of Epidemiology and Oral Disease Prevention.
 
 

Table HC 2.11 
Percentage of Children with Dental Caries 1988-1991

 
 
Non-Hispanic White
Non-Hispanic Black
Mexican-American
 
 
 
 
 
Percent of children ages 2-4 w/dental
caries in primary teeth
13
22
32
 
Percent of children ages 5-17
w/dental caries in permanent teeth
45
39
49
 
Source: Kaste, L.M., Selwitz, R.H., Oldakowski, R.J., Brunelle, J.A., Winn, D.M., & Brown, L.J. (1996) "Coronal Caries in the Primary and Permanent Dentition of Children and Adolescents 1-17 Years of Age: United States, 1988-1991." Journal of Dental Research, 75, 631-641. Rockville, MD: National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Dental Research, Division of Epidemiology and Oral Disease Prevention.

 

31 Kaste, L.M., R.H. Selwitz, R.J. Oldakowski, J.A. Brunelle, D.M. Winn and L.J. Brown (1996). "Coronal Caries in the Primary and Permanent Dentition of Children and Adolescents 1-17 Years of Age: United States 1988-1991." Journal of Dental Research 75: 631-641. Rockville, MD: National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Dental Research, Division of Epidemiology and Oral Disease Prevention.
 
 

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