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01.12.2017 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

BMC Health Services Research 1/2017

Predictors of dental visits among primary school children in the rural Australian community of Lithgow

Zeitschrift:
BMC Health Services Research > Ausgabe 1/2017
Autoren:
James Rufus John, Haider Mannan, Subrat Nargundkar, Mario D’Souza, Loc Giang Do, Amit Arora

Abstract

Background

Regular dental attendance is significant in maintaining and improving children’s oral health and well-being. This study aims to determine the factors that predict and influence dental visits in primary school children residing in the rural community of Lithgow, New South Wales (NSW), Australia.

Methods

All six primary schools of Lithgow were approached to participate in a cross-sectional survey prior to implementing water fluoridation in 2014. Children aged 6–13 years (n = 667) were clinically examined for their oral health status and parents were requested to complete a questionnaire on fluoride history, diet, last dental visit, and socio-demographic characteristics. Multiple logistic regression analyses were employed to examine the independent predictors of a 6-monthly and a yearly dental visit.

Results

Overall, 53% of children visited a dentist within six months and 77% within twelve months. In multiple logistic regression analyses, age of the child and private health insurance coverage were significantly associated with both 6-monthly and twelve-month dental visits. In addition, each serve of chocolate consumption was significantly associated with a 27% higher odds (OR = 1.27, 95% CI: 1.05-1.54) of a 6-monthly dental visit.

Conclusion

It is imperative that the socio-demographic and dietary factors that influence child oral health must be effectively addressed when developing the oral health promotion policies to ensure better oral health outcomes.
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