Oral health status in infants and toddlers enrolled in Early Head Start in Seattle and factors related to their oral health
Seminario, Ana Lucia
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Purpose: To assess dental caries by the level (prevalence) and the degree (mean dmfs) of the disease, as well as to investigate which factors regarding parents' behaviors related to oral health, oral hygiene and diet may be associated with dental caries among low-income urban preschoolers in Seattle. Methods: Children (n=155) aged 6 to 36 months and their parents from State assistance programs for low-income families participated in this cross-sectional study in Seattle, USA. The presence of dental caries was measured by one examiner using the World Health Organization diagnostic criteria. Information on knowledge, attitudes and behaviors towards oral health, oral diet and oral hygiene included breast/bottle feeding, frequency of sweet and sugary drink intake, frequency of between-meals sweet intake, frequency of bedtime food intake. Other variables also evaluated were demographics, such as children's age, gender and race/ethnicity; parents' age, education and marital status; number of children per household, history of dental examination, and history of dental pain. Caries prevalence and mean dmfs were calculated. Associations among predictors and oral health status (dental caries Y/N) were estimated using unadjusted and adjusted logistic regression. Differences in dmfs distribution and predictors were evaluated using multiple linear regression. All regression models took clustering within sites into account. Results: The prevalence of dental caries was 20.65% and the mean dmfs was 1.22(SD: 4.95). After adjusting for age (p<0.001), number of teeth, and sites of origin, we found that the use of exclusive bottle feeding (OR: 0.12, 95% CI: 0.02, 0.59) was associated with a reduced likelihood of having dental caries compared to exclusive breastfeeding. The mean dmfs were found to be higher among children with frequent consumption of sugary drinks (mean difference: 1.68, 95% CI: -2.90, 6.27), frequent food intake in bed (mean difference: 2.40, 95% CI: -5.15, 9.95), and frequent sugary food consumption between meals (mean difference: 0.79, 95% CI: -4.98, 6.57) when compared to children reported not having these habits. Conclusions: During the first years of life, the type of milk feeding may play a role in the development of dental caries. In young children, diet can impact the extent of dental caries measured by the mean dmfs.
- Epidemiology