Small Smiles

Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet

Dental Health Among Low-Income Children

  1. Children ages 6-11 from low-income families are three times more likely to have untreated tooth decay compared with children in higher income families.

  2. Compared to children in higher income families, children in low-income families are also five times more likely to have cavities, have three times the number of decayed teeth and are only half as likely to see a dentist over the course of a year.

  3. According to Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, poor dental health in young children has the potential to affect speech, nutrition, social development and quality of life.

  4. Oral diseases in young children have been linked to ear and sinus infections and weakened immune systems, as well as diabetes, and heart and lung disease.

  5. Studies have found that children with oral diseases are restricted in their daily activities and miss more then 51 million hours of school each year.

Access to Care

  • More than 20 million children in the United States lack health insurance for dental services.
  • Nationwide, only 25% of low-income children receive adequate dental care.
  • In some states, fewer than 25% of dentists are willing to treat children from low-income families receiving Medicaid.

About FORBA & Small Smiles

  • FORBA Dental Management is the management company for the Small Smiles network of associated dental care providers. FORBA’s current executive leadership team has been in place since September 2006.
  • Small Smiles has invested more than $70 million to build dental centers in low-income communities, and operates 68 centers in 22 states that serve more than 500,000 low income children each year.