Students with poor dental health are nearly three times more likely to miss school than their healthy peers. Oklahoma kids have poor oral health overall. According to the Governor’s Task Force on Children and Oral Health:
The statewide prevalence for dental caries (cavities) in Oklahoma third-graders was 69.4% – higher than any other state reported. (New Mexico and Wisconsin, for example, reported lower total caries experience of 60.1% and 64.6%, respectively.) The assessment also showed that the rate of untreated decay (40.2%) in Oklahoma third-graders was also higher than any other reported state.
In this short video from The Pew Charitable Trusts, a high school student shares his experience with dental pain in the classroom, and experts outline the steps states can take to help kids stay healthy and focused in school.