Utah kids' teeth getting healthier

Wednesday , February 08, 2012 - 10:22 AM

Officials say more Utah children have healthy pearly whites compared with five years ago....

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SALT LAKE CITY-- Officials say more Utah children have healthy pearly whites compared with five years ago.

A Utah Department of Health survey found dental decay fell from 55 percent in 2005, to 51 percent in 2010, among children ages 6 to 8.

The survey also shows untreated decay affected 21 percent of children in 2005, but 17 percent in 2010.

Still, 2 percent of children screened had extensive tooth decay, infection or pain.

State Dental Director Dr. Steven Steed says that means more than 2,600 children in first, second and third grades are in urgent need of dental care.

The survey shows poverty and lack of dental insurance are among the top reasons for children suffering dental problems.

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