CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A state report on the oral health of West Virginia school children says 42 percent of third-graders have experienced tooth decay.
The report released Tuesday by the Department of Health and Human Resources also shows 17 percent of the third-graders had untreated cavities.
In addition, only 29 percent of third graders had received a dental sealant, a thin coating considered effective in preventing tooth decay.
Dr. Jason Roush, the state's dental director, says West Virginia needs to continue looking for ways to improve early cavity prevention and educational programs for school children.
The DHHR says the data was collected during the 2010-11 school year and was submitted to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It marked the first time that West Virginia had collected such data.