Pew's Report Card Shows Some States Making Strong Progress on Children's Dental Needs, But Others Lag Far Behind

Thursday, May 19, 2011 General News J E 4

More than 16 million low-income children go each year without seeing a dentist, and the consequences negatively affect their education and overall health.  Some states are making major strides to address this need, while others are falling very far short.  In this year's 50-state report card by the Pew Children's Dental Campaign, seven states earned an A grade, but five earned an F.  Yet 22 states raised their 2010 grades, revealing that even in a time of fiscal distress, dental health policies can be improved.

The report card, The State of Children's Dental Health: Making Coverage Matter, assesses states' ability to serve insured and soon-to-be-insured children.  By 2014, an additional 5.3 million kids will secure dental coverage under the federal health care reform law enacted in 2010. To make coverage matter, expanded insurance must be coupled with state policies that meaningfully improve children's access to care.

The 2011 Pew report card, produced with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the DentaQuest Foundation, reveals simultaneous signs of hope and concern:

  • Of the 22 states raising their grades from 2010, six of them have improved by at least two letter grades.
  • Only seven achieved A grades.
  • Twenty-three made no progress over last year's grades.
  • Of the five states earning F's, three of them received their second consecutive failing grade.

WHAT: Pre-release conference call to discuss findings of the 2011 Pew report card

WHEN:  11:00 a.m. EDT, Monday, May 23, 2011

WHERE: Conference Call Telephone Number: 1-888-299-4099

Passcode: VJ25083

WHO: Shelly Gehshan, Director, the Pew Children's Dental Campaign

Andrew Snyder, Research Manager, the Pew Children's Dental Campaign

Sterling K. Speirn, President and CEO, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Ralph Fuccillo, President, the DentaQuest Foundation

***PLEASE NOTE: The report is embargoed until 12:01 a.m. EDT Tuesday, May 24***

To RSVP contact Rolanda Rascoe at

The Pew Center on the States is a division of The Pew Charitable Trusts that identifies and advances effective solutions to critical issues facing states. Pew is a nonprofit organization that applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and stimulate civic life.

SOURCE The Pew Charitable Trusts



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