An understanding of the health equity of caries in preschool children can be derived from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) conducted between 1988-1994, and the Continuous National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, that compared caries prevalence among children in 1988-1994 to 1999-2004.  The NHANES data collected between 1988-1994 shows that ECC: (1) remains a major health problem in the U.S. with a prevalence of 50% in poor and near poor five-year-olds; (2) dental caries experience is 2.5 times greater in poor vs. non-poor children; and (3) untreated dental caries 3.0 times greater in poor vs. non-poor children.

A recent report (Steele et al., 2015) shows that there still remains significant income inequalities in caries prevalence in very your children, representing a 10-to 18-percentage  point increase in the probability of caries between the wealthiest and lower income groups.  This study also found that education and area of residence are contributory.

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