In this Section
227753 Prevalence of Early Childhood Caries and Parent Knowledge, Attitudes, Beliefs and Behaviors of Urban Hispanic Three Year Olds
Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 9:15 AM - 9:30 AM
Background: Hispanics have the lowest dental care utilization of any ethnic population. Previous measurements of early childhood caries(ECC) prevalence (18-22% in children 2-4 years old) may not adequately describe the caries experience of these children.
Objectives: The study describes the 1) prevalence of ECC in urban, poor Hispanic children age 3-3½, and 2) parent/caregiver oral health knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors (KABB).
Methods: Cross-sectional cohort study. We measured ECC in a random sample of 3-3½ year old children receiving primary medical care in 8 urban community health centers. Three formally calibrated dental providers visually measured surface precavities/cavities with a light source/no probing or x-ray. A written survey (English and Spanish) measured parent/caregiver KABB. Descriptive analysis was completed with outcomes identified as: caries-precaries(d1), decayed(d2+), missing(m), and filled(f) on primary teeth surfaces and KABB.
Results: We evaluated 195 children. Parent/caregivers identified them as Hispanic (77%); 90% had received Medicaid/CHP+; and 59% had previously seen a dental provider. Forty-seven percent of children had baseline caries (d2+mfs) and 29% had precaries (d1) only. Parents/caregivers reported brushing their child's teeth at least once per day (88%) and discontinuing bed-bottle use by 12 months (31%), between 12-18 months (23%), and after 18 months (24%). Twenty percent of parents/caregivers reported never putting their child to bed with a bottle.
Conclusions: The prevalence of ECC in poor, Hispanic, 3-3 ½ year old children is very high. Previous reports of ECC may underestimate the caries experience of these young, at-risk children. Preventive dental services should target this population.
Learning Areas:Advocacy for health and health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Provision of health care to the public
Keywords: Early Childhood Caries, Health Disparities
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator of this evaluation.
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.