Online Program

Children of foreign-born mothers, oral health and food insecurity

Monday, November 4, 2013

Stephanie Ettinger de Cuba, MPH, Data Coordinating Center, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Diana Cutts, MD, Pediatrics, Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN
Sharon M. Coleman, MS, MPH, Data Coordinating Center, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Background: Publically insured children, including those of foreign-born mothers (FBM), have dental benefits, yet they may carry a disproportionate burden of dental disease beginning in early life. Foreign-born households are also more likely to be food insecure. A relationship between food insecurity and poor oral health in very young children is hypothesized. Methods: 2500 low-income mothers with publically insured, US-born children 1-4 years old were recruited 2/11 to 6/12 in acute & primary care settings in 5 US cities. Mothers answered questions on birthplace, demographics, food insecurity, and oral health status. Multivariate logistic regression examined associations between mothers' birthplace and both maternal and child oral health status while adjusting for potential confounders. Results: 20% (495) were children of FBM. 69% vs. 64% of children of FBM vs. US-born mothers, respectively, had never seen a dental provider. 39% of children of FBM were food insecure vs. 25% of children of US-born mothers. In multivariate analysis children of FBM had increased adjusted odds of fair/poor oral health (AOR 2.02, 95% CI: 1.30-3.15). Maternal oral health was not significantly different between groups. Conclusion: While most children in this sample were unlikely to have received any formal dental care, children of low-income, FBM were at increased risk of fair/poor oral health. Contributing factors may include food insecurity leading to cariogenic dietary practices. Efforts to promote oral health education and address food insecurity for FBM may lead to improved oral health for their young children.

Learning Areas:

Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Compare oral health status of very young children of US vs. foreign-born mothers Identify risk factors, such as food insecurity, for young children’s fair/poor oral health status.

Keyword(s): Children's Health, Oral Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: For more than seven years I have been the Research and Policy Director of Children's HealthWatch, a policy research group, leading teams of PIs, statistical analysts and policy analysts to understand the impact of public policy on young children's health, development and well-being. I am also a coauthor on 10 peer-reviewed publications and previously presented at APHA and other scientific meetings.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.