Oral health is essential to the general health and well-being of all Americans, and it is a window into the health of the body. Oral health can show signs of nutritional deficiencies or general infection, and diseases that affect the entire body can first become apparent because of oral problems.” Surgeon General Priority in 2020

Health People 2030 | Health People

Oral health is essential for general health and well-being of all Missourians. Oral health problems affect a person’s ability to eat and speak. Poor oral health is inter-connected with serious health issues like diabetes, heart disease, stroke and preterm or low birth weight just to name a few. The good news is that oral health problems are preventable. A healthy smile for life starts with healthy habits of brushing and flossing, using fluoride toothpaste, making smart food choices and eating habits, and visiting the dentist twice a yearly.

All professionals need to be concerned about the oral health of all Missourians. This website provides resources to improve oral health outside of the dentist office. The information on this webpage is to help you learn and education others on the benefits of good oral health. As a professional - healthcare provider, dental provider, teacher or anyone else, you have the potential to influence the oral health of Missourians.

Just because the title of the resource may suggest a link or document is for one profession does not mean that other professionals will not find the information helpful, i.e. Oral Health Guide for Caregivers of School Aged Children. This guide contains good information and pictures regarding possible dental emergencies that may be seen anywhere not just at school.

Missouri Oral Health Statistics

The table below shows how Missourians are impacted by poor oral health.

Missouri vs National Statistics from National Oral Health Surveillance System

Indicator Missouri National National Measure Health People 2020 Objective
Percentage of Adults Who Have Visited a Dentist in the Last Year 63.3% 2018 67.3% 2018 Median, N=53 N/A
Percentage of Adults Who Have Had Teeth Cleaned in the Last Year 61.7% 2018 69.0% 2018 Median, N=53 N/A
Complete Tooth Loss Among Adults 65 and Older

65 and Older:
18.8% (65 to 74 year-olds: 15.7%)

65 and Older: 13.5% 2018 Median, N=53 65 to 74 year-olds: 21.6%
Loss of 6 or More Teeth Among Adults 65 and Older 42.8% 2016 36.0% 2016 Median, N=53 N/A
Percent Served by Community Water Systems that Receive Fluoridated Water 75.6% 2018 73.0% 2018 National Percentage 79.6%
Caries Experience Among Third Grade Students 54.8% 2018-2019 50.5% 2015-2016 National Percentage 6 to 9 year-olds: 49%
Untreated Tooth Decay Among Third Grade Students 28.5% 2018-2019 15.3% 2015-2016 National Percentage 6 to 9 year-olds: 25.9%
Dental Sealants Among Third Grade Students 29.7% 2018-2019 42% 2011-2014 Median, N=53 6 to 9 year-olds: 28.1%
Cancer of the Oral Cavity and Pharynx Incidence 12.6 per 100,000 population 2016 11.7 per 100,000 population 2016 Age-adjusted incidence rate N/A

Children and Adolescents Oral Health

Oral Health Guide for Caregivers of School-Aged Children

Fluoride and Oral Health

Fluoride for Strengthening Teeth

This image reflects large areas of active tooth decay in a child’s baby teeth. The areas of decay are most likely caused by the child being put to bed with a bottle at an earlier age; the term is called “Early Childhood Caries” or also called “Baby Bottle Tooth Decay.” Babies should never be put to bed with a bottle filled with any liquid, if a bottle is necessary at bedtime, tap water should be the only choice.

mouth of child with broken teeth

Oral Care for People with Developmental and/or Physical Disabilities

Oral Health Education