O'Neill Institute   |  March 29, 2018

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Barriers to good oral health care pose a significant health threat to low-income individuals and families, which in extreme cases can result in fatal consequences. Lack of good oral health may also negatively impact social function and interaction, limiting verbal and nonverbal communication, and interfering with intimacy, nutrition, and sleep. Often ignored, oral care is the most prevalent unmet health care need among children and adolescents, and tooth decay is the most chronic illness in school-age children. Within this already vulnerable group, children with special health care needs (CSHCN) are especially at risk for a variety of economic, social, environmental, and other reasons that contribute to overall poor oral health care and negative health outcomes.

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