Early childhood tooth decay can be damaging to developing primary teeth,24 and can negatively affect
child oral health quality of life,25 increase experience of dental pain, and negatively impact school performance.26 The denominator is children ages 1-2, and the numerator is those children who ever had one
or more preventive dental visits. Estimates in the State of Babies Yearbook: 2021 are based on a three
year (2016-2018) combined sample of the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH). These results are
more reliable than the results presented in the 2020 report, which were based on two years of NSCH data
(2016-2017), or the 2019 report, which were based on 2016 data. They should be considered improved
estimates, not new estimates that can be compared directly to the 2020 or 2019 yearbook estimates.
This indicator can be disaggregated by race/ethnicity and household income. Race/ethnicity: The child’s
race/ethnicity is reported by their caregiver, and the included subgroups are Hispanic of all races, NonHispanic White, Non-Hispanic Black, and Non-Hispanic Asian. The US Census Bureau recommends
against using state or national population estimates for the following groups with the NSCH: American
23 Young, K. T., Davis, K., Schoen, C., & Parker, S. (1998). Listening to parents. A national survey of parents with young children. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 152(3), 255-262.
24 US Department of Health and Human Services. (2020). Oral health in America: A report of the surgeon general. US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health. Retrieved December 2020 from https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/sites/default/files/2017-10/hck1ocv.%40www.surgeon.fullrpt.pdf
25 Filstrup, S. L., Briskie, D., Da Fonseca, M., Lawrence, L., Wandera, A., & Inglehart, M. R. (2003). Early childhood caries and quality of life: child and parent perspectives. Pediatric dentistry, 25(5), 431-440. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Marita_Inglehart/publication/8980934_Early_childhood_caries_and_quality_of_life_Child_and_parent_perspectives/links/56792e2c08aeaf87ed8afd72.pdf
26 Jackson, S. L., Vann Jr, W. F., Kotch, J. B., Pahel, B. T., & Lee, J. Y. (2011). Impact of poor oral health on children’s school attendance and performance. American Journal of Public Health, 101(10), 1900-1906. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3222359/