Children's Oral Health Report
Is West Virginia a great place for kids’ smiles? That’s the question West Virginia KIDS COUNT set out to answer in 2011 when the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation asked us to prepare a report on the status of children’s oral health in West Virginia.
KIDS COUNT's subsequent 2012 special report, Is West Virginia A Great Place for Kids’ Smiles?, chronicles the state’s recent progress in improving children’s oral health and makes a series of recommendations for further improvements, including expansion of the school-based dental sealant program to all high-risk communities in West Virginia.
The KIDS COUNT special report measures the status of children’s oral health against the following national benchmarks developed by The Pew Center on the States:
1. Having sealant programs in at least 25 percent of high-risk schools;
2. Allowing a hygienist to place sealants in a school-based program without requiring a dentist’s exam;
3. Providing optimally fluoridated water to at least 75 percent of residents who are served by community water systems;
4. Meeting or exceeding the 2006/2007 national average of Medicaid-enrolled children receiving dental services;
5. Paying dentists who serve Medicaid enrolled children the national average of dentists’ median fees;
6. Reimbursing Medicaid medical providers for preventive dental services;
7. Authorizing a new type of primary-care dental provider; and
8. Submitting basic screening data to the national database that tracks oral health status.