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Oral health, too often neglected in discussions of children’s health and health care access, is the single greatest unmet need for health services among children. In California, the disparity in oral health between poor and affluent children is among the worst in the US. The consequences are severe, both for the children and for our society. Nearly half a million children a year miss school due to a toothache or other oral health problems. School performance by children with poor oral health suffers by comparison to their peers. This disparity reflects the shortcomings in our social safety net of publicly funded health care services.

This new issue brief reviews the key factors affecting oral health care for children in California, particularly from low-income families, and offers recommendations.

Related Grants

Findings from a survey of California-based caregivers that asked them about their experiences receiving peer support for caring for children and youth with special health care needs.

This fact sheet explains the methods used in a study of California caregivers of CYSHCN, including the study’s purpose, survey instrument, sample, survey distribution, data analysis, and more.