Changes in the oral health of US children and adolescents and dental public health infrastructure since the release of the Healthy People 2010 Objectives.

University of Florida College of Dentistry, Department of Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science, Gainesville, Florida 32610-3628, USA.
Academic pediatrics (Impact Factor: 2.23). 11/2009; 9(6):388-95. DOI: 10.1016/j.acap.2009.09.018
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We examined progress in US children's oral health and dental public health infrastructure since the Healthy People 2010 Oral Health Objectives were issued. We summarize trends in the prevalence of dental caries and dental sealants on the basis of national and state-specific data. Trends in state oral health program activities, funding, and staffing were derived from annual surveys. The prevalence of dental caries in primary teeth of children aged 2-4 years increased from 18% in 1988-1994 to 24% in 1999-2004. Racial disparities persisted in that age group, with caries significantly more prevalent among non-Hispanic black and Mexican American children than among non-Hispanic white children. Caries prevalence in primary teeth of non-Hispanic white children aged 6-8 years remained unchanged, but increased among non-Hispanic black and Mexican American children. State-specific prevalence of caries among third-graders ranged from 40.6% to 72.2%. Caries in permanent teeth declined among children and adolescents, while the prevalence of dental sealants increased significantly. State oral health programs' funding and staffing remained modest, although the proportion of states with sealant programs increased 75% in 2000 to 85% in 2007 and the proportion with fluoride varnish programs increased from 13% to 53%. Progress toward improving the oral health of America during the past decade has been mixed. Greater attention to the oral health of young children is clearly needed, and child health professionals can be valuable partners in the effort. With continued high prevalence of a largely preventable disease, ongoing problems with access to basic oral health services, and increased national attention to health care reform, there is a clear need and opportunity for governments to make serious and sustained investments in dental public health.

  • Source
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Early childhood caries (ECC) are particularly prevalent in disadvantaged populations, and socioeconomic factors are associated with the polarization of disease. A previous study showed that even within a homogenous low-income population disease is polarized, indicating that other factors apart from income may contribute to disease susceptibility METHODS: This study used a hierarchical approach to identify factors associated with polarization of ECC in low-income subjects. This cross-sectional study was conducted retrospectively using a cohort of 244 children (aged 48-72 months) with family incomes not exceeding double the minimum wage (U.S. $8,208.00/year), living in neighborhoods on the outskirts of Sao Luis, Maranhao, Brazil. The sample was divided into three groups based on the Significant Caries (SiC) Index: no caries group, few caries group (mean 1.38 lesions), and a high caries group (mean 3.82 lesions). Hierarchical multinomial logistic regression analyses were performed based on a theoretical model.
    BMC Public Health 09/2014; 14(1):988. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-14-988 · 2.32 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Professional guidelines and state Medicaid policies encourage pediatricians to provide oral health screening, anticipatory guidance, and fluoride varnish application to young patients. Because oral health activities are becoming more common in medical offices, the objective of this study was to assess pediatricians' attitudes and practices related to oral health and examine changes since 2008. As part of the 2012 Periodic Survey of Fellows, a random sample of 1638 members of the American Academy of Pediatrics was surveyed on their participation in oral health promotion activities. Univariate statistics were used to examine pediatricians' attitudes, practices, and barriers related to screening, risk assessment, counseling, and topical fluoride application among patients from birth to 3 years of age. Bivariate statistics were used to examine changes since 2008. Analyses were limited to 402 pediatricians who provided preventive care (51% of all respondents). Most respondents supported providing oral health activities in medical offices, but fewer reported engaging in these activities with most patients. Significantly more respondents agreed they should apply fluoride varnish (2008, 19%; 2012, 41%), but only 7% report doing so with >75% of patients. Although significantly more respondents reported receiving oral health training, limited time, lack of training and billing remain barriers to delivering these services. Pediatricians continue to have widespread support for, but less direct involvement with oral health activities in clinical practice. Existing methods of training should be examined to identify methods effective at increasing pediatricians' participation in oral health activities. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Academic Pediatrics 11/2014; 14(6):616-23. DOI:10.1016/j.acap.2014.07.001 · 2.23 Impact Factor