Oral health need and access to dental services: Evidence from the national survey of children's health, 2007

Janice F Bell, Colleen E. Huebner, Sarah C. Reed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines associations between parents' report of their children's oral health and receipt of a dental visit for preventive care. We conducted a crosssectional analysis of oral health status and receipt of a preventive dental visit among US children and youth, ages 1-17 years, using data from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health (n = 86,764). Survey-weighted logistic regression was used to estimate associations between perceived oral health status and receipt of a preventive dental health visit in the prior 12 months. Overall, 78 % of children and youth received at least one preventive dental health visit in the prior year. Among the youngest children, lower oral health status was associated with higher odds of receiving a preventive dental visit; among older children, lower oral health status was associated with lower odds of receiving a dental visit for preventive care. Use of preventive dental health care is below national target goals. Younger children in worse oral health are more likely, and older youth less likely, to receive preventive dental care. Public health efforts to educate parents to seek early and ongoing preventive oral health care, rather than services in response to problems, may yield oral health benefits later in childhood and over the life course.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-34
Number of pages8
JournalMaternal and Child Health Journal
Volume16
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Children
  • Dental care
  • National Survey of Children's Health
  • Oral health
  • Oral health need
  • Preventive care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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