Linking mother access to dental care and child oral health.

Department of Dental Public Health Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-7660, USA.
Community Dentistry And Oral Epidemiology (Impact Factor: 1.94). 08/2009; 37(5):381-90. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0528.2009.00486.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The authors examined whether low-income mothers, who have a regular source of dental care (RSDC), rate the dental health of their young children higher than mothers without an RSDC.
From a population of 108,151 children enrolled in Medicaid aged 3 to 6 years and their low-income mothers in Washington state, a disproportionate stratified random sample of 11,305 children aged 3 to 6 years was selected from enrollment records in four racial/ethnic groups: 3791 Black; 2806 Hispanic; 1902 White; and 2806 other racial/ethnic groups. A mixed-mode survey was conducted to measure mother RSDC and mother ratings of child's dental health and pain. The unadjusted response rate was 44%, yielding the following eligible mothers: 816 Black, 1309 Hispanic, 1379 White, 237 Asian, and 133 American-Indian. Separate regression models for Black, Hispanic, and White mothers estimated associations between the mothers having an RSDC and ratings of child dental health.
Across racial/ethnic groups, mothers with an RSDC consistently rated their children's dental health 0.15 higher on a 1-to-5 scale (where '1' means 'poor' and '5' means 'excellent') than mothers without an RSDC, controlling for child and mother characteristics and the mothers' propensity to have an RSDC. This difference can be interpreted as a net movement of one level up the scale by 15% of the population.
Across racial/ethnic groups, low-income mothers who have a regular source of dental care rate the dental health of their young children higher than mothers without an RSDC.

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