Child, Family, and Community Factors and the Utilization of Oral Health Services in Early Childhood

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Access to dental care is the leading unmet health need among American children. Early access to oral health care is critical in the prevention and treatment of early childhood caries, and any barriers perceived by parents can cause delay in seeking treatment. The purpose of this study was to examine child, family, and community factors associated with the utilization of oral health services among U.S. and HRSA region IV children aged 1-5 years. The data were obtained from the 2011/2012 National Survey of Children’s Health. Descriptive statistical summaries were calculated for all independent variables grouped by child, family, and community. A caregiver was asked whether the child received dental care in the past 12 months. Multiple logistic regression analysis using an investigator driven stepwise selection methodology was conducted. Nearly half (46.7%) of caregivers in the national sample reported that their child had visited a dentist in the past 12 months, slightly fewer (46.0%; p


Atlanta, GA

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