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Pediatr Clin North Am. 2018 Oct;65(5):981-993. doi: 10.1016/j.pcl.2018.05.007.

Oral Health for US Children with Special Health Care Needs.

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Department of Oral Health Sciences, University of Washington, School of Dentistry, Box 357475, B509f Health Sciences Building, Seattle, WA 98195-7475, USA. Electronic address:


Children with special health care needs (CSHCN) are a vulnerable population subgroup, but little is known about their oral health, particularly regarding the prevalence and cause of tooth decay. This lack of knowledge is a barrier to progress in terms of developing evidence-based clinical interventions and policies aimed at promoting oral health in CSHCN. This article reviews the oral health literature pertaining to CSHCN, identifies critical knowledge gaps, highlights future research opportunities, and extends clinical recommendations to pediatric health care providers.


Access to dental care; Behavioral determinants of oral health; Children with special health care needs (CSHCN); Diet; Oral health promotion interventions; Tooth brushing; Unmet dental care needs

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