Title: Pediatric Oral Health Routines and Information Sources Among Low-Income Families
Victoria Chen (Presenter)
UCLA School of Dentistry
James Crall, UCLA School of Dentistry
Objectives: The objectives of this study were to examine caregivers’ engagement in pediatric oral health practices and nighttime routines with their children, and identify trusted sources of information.
Methods: Written surveys were administered over a one-month period to samples of caregivers of children aged 0 to 5 seeking primary medical and/or dental care at 8 Los Angeles community-based clinics that predominantly serve low-income and minority patients. Data regarding children’s nighttime routines were obtained from all respondents. Surveys were available in English or Spanish. 146 survey responses were collected.
Results: Of 69 responses by caregivers of children under age 6, 64% reported using fluoride toothpaste, 52% reported brushing their children’s teeth daily, and 25% reported brushing at least 2 times/day, although not necessarily with fluoridated toothpaste. Of 120 responses regarding nighttime routines, 91% reported using some type of nighttime routine with their child, with 85% reporting that routines included tooth brushing. 39% of caregivers reported completing nighttime routines 1-2 times/week, while 37% reported completing nighttime routine 3-4 times/week. Dentists were the most trusted source for oral health information, with physicians and family ranked second and third.
Conclusions: Caregivers seeking primary care services from Los Angeles community clinics serving predominantly low-income, minority populations reported relatively high rates of tooth brushing as part of nighttime routines. However additional findings indicate that improvements in the frequency and regularity of routines, and greater use of fluoride toothpaste could help reduce caries risk in children at elevated risk for tooth decay.