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Population-Health Prevention Strategies to Achieve Equity in Child Oral Health

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by International Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

A study aiming to understand the impact of public health strategies on the oral health of children from historically marginalized groups was presented at the 102nd General Session of the IADR, which was held in conjunction with the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research and the 48th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research, on March 13-16, 2024, in New Orleans, LA, U.S..

The abstract, "Population-Health Prevention Strategies to Achieve Equity in Child Oral Health," was presented during the "Highlights on Pediatric Oral Health Research II" Oral Session that took place on Saturday, March 16, 2024, at 2 p.m. Central Standard Time (UTC-6).

The study, by Paige Fallon of the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, Washington, DC, U.S., used publicly available, aggregated data downloaded from the Title V Information System and the National Survey of Children's Health for the 50 states and District of Columbia (hereafter 'states').

States were classified into two groups based on whether they did or did not select children's oral health as a key priority. Data on the prevalence of annual dental care visits in children ages 1-17 was obtained for each state, including stratifications by social determinants of health variables.

Linear regression analyses were used to determine if selecting oral health as a key priority significantly predicted the prevalence of dental care visits and whether any of the stratifiers influenced the prevalence.

The rate of U.S. children ages 1 through 17 who are reported by a parent/caregiver to have received preventive dental care in the past year has steadily decreased by 2 percentage points each year from 2018-2021 (79.6%, 77.5%, 75.1%, respectively) after previously staying fairly constant from 2016-2018 (79.5%, 79.7%, 79.6%, respectively). A linear regression indicated there was a significant difference between the rate in states who did or did not select oral health as a key priority.

Population health strategies occur at the policy or systems level and are designed to improve health equity. This study highlighted the need for continued partnerships between state public health programs (including school-based services) and dental researchers, clinicians, and community professionals to develop evidence-based oral health programs that specifically reduce oral health inequities.

Provided by International Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research

Citation: Population-health prevention strategies to achieve equity in child oral health (2024, March 19) retrieved 19 March 2024 from

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Schedule22 May 2024