June 2009

Volume 26, Issue 2

Racial and ethnic differences in a regular source of dental care and the oral health, behaviors, beliefs and services of lowincome mothers

Authors: D. Grembowski C. Spiekerman P. Milgrom
doi: 10.1922/CDH_2309Grembowski08


Objective In a racial/ethnically-diverse sample of low-income mothers of children aged 3-6, we determine: 1) whether a regular source of dental care (RSDC), self-rated oral health, beliefs and behaviors differ by racial/ethnic group; 2) estimate whether a RSDC is associated with oral health, beliefs and behaviors, and whether these associations differ by racial/ethnic group; and 3) examine these relationships for mothers’ dental utilization. Basic Research Design Cross-sectional survey. Participants From a population of 108,151 Medicaid children aged 3-6 in Washington state, U.S., 10,909 eligible children were sampled stratified by racial/ethnic group. Eligible mothers completed a mixed-mode survey in the following groups: Black (n=818), Hispanic (n=1,310), or White (n=1,382). Main Outcome Measures Measures were mothers’ RSDC, personal characteristics, self-rated dental health, appearance of teeth, dental problems, brushing duration, flossing frequency, use of toothpicks or whiteners, belief that cleaning prevents cavities or loose teeth, and self-reported services at last dental visit. Results About 38-40% of mothers had a RSDC. For Black, Hispanic and White mothers, having a RSDC was associated consistently with better oral health, greater likelihood of a dental cleaning and less likelihood of tooth extraction. RSDC was not associated generally with oral health beliefs and behaviors. Oral health behaviors differ by racial/ethnic group. Conclusions Relationships between RSDC and self-reported oral health, health behaviors, beliefs and dental services are similar for Black, Hispanic and White low-income mothers of young children. Oral health behaviors differ across racial/ethnic groups, which may have implications for mother and child oral health. Key words: Access, dental care, dental insurance, disparity, Medicaid, mothers, oral health, oral hygiene, race and ethnicity


Other articles in this issue

Article Pages Access
Editorial 66-68 Download
Racial and ethnic differences in a regular source of dental care and the oral health, behaviors, beliefs and services of lowincome mothers 69-76 Download
Association of urgent dental care with subjective oral health indicators and psychosocial impact 77-83 Download
The use of conversation mapping to frame key perceptual issues facing the general dental practice system in England. 84-91 Download
Deprivation and access to dental care in a socially diverse metropolitan area 92-98 Download
Seroepidemiology of hepatitis C antibodies among dentists and their self-reported use of infection control measures 99-103 Download
Relationships between patient characteristics and reasons for tooth extraction in Japan 104-109 Download
Differences in oral health behaviour between children from high and children from low SES schools in the Netherlands. 110-115 Download
Caries prevalence in Suriname schoolchildren 116-120 Download
Early childhood caries and related risk factors in Mongolian children 121-128 Download


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