Online Program

Investigation of Socioeconomic Characteristics, Oral Health Related Attitudes and Behaviors, and Access to Oral Health Services in Vallejo

Monday, November 2, 2015

Angela Chu, MPH, Public Health Program, Touro University California, Vallejo, CA
Gayle Cummings, PsyDc, MPH, Public Health Program, Touro University, Vallejo, CA
Annette Aalborg, MPH, DrPH, Public Health Program, Touro University California, Vallejo, CA
Juan Chavez, Public Health Program, Touro University California, Vallejo, CA
Adiam Mengis, Public Health Program, Touro University California, Vallejo, CA
The purpose of this study is to investigate socioeconomic characteristics, oral health related attitudes and behaviors, and access to oral health services among participants in a school-based oral health services project funded by HRSA. A sample (n=260) of caregivers of children in Vallejo, California receiving oral health services were enrolled in the study and were administered a survey to assess attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors concerning oral health and access to dental care from 2012 to 2014. Most participants (68%) have a total family income of less than $40,000, do not have dental insurance (65%), and have not been to a dentist in more than a year (61%) and about one-half (57%) of the participants are Hispanic/Latino. Some participants (27%) reported poor mouth conditions and do not brush their teeth at least twice a day every day. Few participants (10%) report confidence that they can keep themselves from getting cavities. Results suggest a lack of access to dental services among these families, many of whom do not have dental insurance resulting to the low frequency of dental visits. Participants also have poor brushing behaviors and poor perceptions of their oral health and few believe that they can maintain healthy teeth. Implementing community-based oral health programs that provide better access to dental services and promote healthy oral habits may significantly improve oral health related beliefs, behaviors and access to care among underserved families.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Assess the need for community-based oral health programs in underserved populations

Keyword(s): Oral Health, Community-Based Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a dedicated team member of the School-Based Comprehensive Oral Health Services Project located in Vallejo, California. Currently I am involved with research, data collection (conducting follow up surveys), data entry, and data analysis. I am highly interested in school and community based programs to improve the access of health and quality of life in underserved populations.
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.

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