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On February 10, more than 100 University of California student and faculty investigators presented research projects at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry Research Day. One such study, conducted by researchers Roseann Mulligan and Hazem Seirawan, found that the majority of disadvantaged children have untreated dental caries and extensive tooth decay, according to USC News.
The study, which screened more than 2,300 children from across the country, representing a wide range of ages and ethnicities, found that 73 percent of underprivileged children are suffering from untreated carries.
The researchers unearthed several economic and socials barriers that make it difficult for disadvantaged children to receive proper dental care, including a lack of dental insurance, poor oral hygiene habits, inadequate nutrition and the consumption of bottled versus fluoridated tap water.
Mulligan and Seirawan recommend that governments encourage oral health education at the school and community level as well as support the organizations which provide care to disadvantaged youngsters.
Regular visits to the dentist can help prevent avoidable dental health problems, such as infection, tooth decay and cardiovascular disease, according to the American Dental Association.
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