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Though health officials in New Hampshire have noted improvements in dental care among the state's elementary school children in the past, they are recognizing that the fight for dental health requires constant attention.
According to a state public health survey of 3,000 third-graders from 81 New Hampshire schools, 6 percent fewer children experienced tooth decay compared to one year ago.
Approximately 44 percent of the students had experienced tooth decay and 12 percent had not been treated for the condition. In addition, more than 60 percent of students had dental sealants, which are plastic coatings which protect molars from cavities, Foster's Daily Democrat reports.
Dr Jose Montero, director of public health, said that oral health standards have improved as more students have enrolled in Medicaid and school dental care and prevention programs during the year.
The survey also found a link between dental health and a family's income, as students who participated in free or reduced price meal programs were substantially more likely to experience dental issues.
While school programs typically screen for dental health problems, many do not provide any means of follow-up care, leaving many conditions untreated.
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