Dental and oral health care remains some of the most difficult health services to access for children and teens in foster care. Common dental and oral health problems include bottle tooth decay in very young children, multiple dental cavities in older children, and malocclusion. In fact, approximately 35% of children and teens enter foster care with significant dental and oral health problems.

Children and teens have often received only fragmentary and sporadic dental and oral health care prior to foster care. Typically, they enter foster care with a high prevalence of undiagnosed or under-treated acute and chronic dental or oral health problems. Even after entering foster care, all necessary health care may not be met because of a variety of barriers to good dental and oral health care. Read more about the barriers to good health care facing children and teens in foster care.

The AAP recommends that every child and teen entering foster care have a dental evaluation within 30 days of placement.

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American Academy of Pediatrics