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OH-2.1 Data Details

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OH-2.1 Reduce the proportion of children aged 3 to 5 years with untreated dental decay in their primary teeth

About the Data

Description of the data source, numerator, denominator, survey questions, and other relevant details about the national estimate.

Data Source: 
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
Changed Since the Healthy People 2020 Launch: 
Baseline (Year): 
23.8 (1999-2004)
Target-Setting Method: 
10 percent improvement

Number of children aged 3 to 5 years with coronal caries that have not been restored observed in at least one primary tooth


Number of children aged 3 to 5 years with valid coronal caries codes for at least one primary tooth

Comparable Healthy People 2010 Objective: 
Adapted from HP2010 objective
Methodology Notes: 

    Untreated dental decay is defined as the presence of untreated caries. Caries is the disease that causes tooth decay and can lead to cavities in teeth. This indicator is tracked using the Oral Health Examination component of the Continuous National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, collected since 1999. Data on missing primary teeth are not captured by NHANES. Indicators of caries in primary teeth omit missing teeth to avoid potential misclassification of teeth lost to natural exfoliation as missing due to caries. The measurement protocol described for Healthy People 2000 is still in use.

Changes Between HP2010 and HP2020: 
This objective differs from Healthy People 2010 objective 21-02a in that the age range was revised from "2 to 4" to "3 to 5" years.

Revision History

Any change to the objective text, baseline, target, target-setting method or data source since the Healthy People 2020 launch.


Additional resources about the objective

  1. Dye BA, Barker, LK, Selwitz RH, Lewis BG, Wu T, Fryar CD, et al. Overview and quality assurance for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) oral health component, 1999–2002. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 35:140–51. 2007.
  2. Vargas, C.; Schober, S.; and Gift, H. Operational definitions for year 2000 objectives: Priority area 13, Oral Health. Healthy People 2000 Statistical Notes, No. 12. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), 1997.