Advertisement

Journal of Community Health

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 250–257 | Cite as

Immigrant Caregivers of Young Children: Oral Health Beliefs, Attitudes, and Early Childhood Caries Knowledge

  • Deborah A. FinneganEmail author
  • Lori Rainchuso
  • Susan Jenkins
  • Erin Kierce
  • Andrew Rothman
Original Paper

Abstract

The incidence of early childhood caries (ECC) is a global public health concern. The oral health knowledge of a caregiver can affect a child’s risk for developing ECC. An exploratory study of the oral health knowledge and behaviors among caregivers of children 6 years of age and younger was conducted with a convenience sample of adults (n = 114) enrolled in English language or high school equivalency examination courses. The majority of study participants were born in Asia (47 %). Other birth regions included South America (16 %), Caribbean (16 %), Africa (10 %), and Central America (6 %). Study findings showed caregivers with low oral health knowledge were more likely to engage in behaviors that increase a child’s risk for developing ECC. A statistically significant relationship was found between participants’ rating of their child’s dental health as poor and the belief that children should not be weaned from the nursing bottle by 12 months of age (P = 0.002), brushing should not begin upon tooth eruption (P = 0.01), and fluoride does not strengthen teeth and prevent dental caries (P = 0.005). Subjects who pre-chewed their child’s food also exhibited behaviors including sharing eating utensils or a toothbrush with their child (P < 0.001). Additional caregiver behaviors included providing their child with a bottle containing cariogenic liquids in a crib (P < 0.001). As a result of this research, it is pertinent that culturally sensitive oral health promotion programs are developed and implemented to raise awareness and reduce the risk of dental disease among immigrant populations.

Keywords

Parental oral health behavior Immigrants Early childhood caries Oral health literacy 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

References

  1. 1.
    Leong, P. M., Gussy, M. G., Barrow, S.-L., de Silva-Sanigorski, A., & Waters, E. (2013). A systematic review of risk factors during first year of life for early childhood caries. International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 23(4), 235–250.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Çolak, H., Dülgergil, C., Dalli, M., & Hamidi, M. (2013). Early childhood caries update: A review of causes, diagnoses, and treatments. Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine, 4(1), 29–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Petersen, P. E., Bourgeois, D., Ogawa, H., Estupinan-Day, S., & Ndiaye, C. (2005). The global burden of oral diseases and risks to oral health. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 83(9), 661–669.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2003). A national call to action to promote oral health (NIH Publication No. 03-5303). Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved from http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/datastatistics/surgeongeneral/nationalcalltoaction/nationalcalltoaction.htm.
  5. 5.
    Nunn, M. E., Dietrich, T., Singh, H. K., Henshaw, M. M., & Kressin, N. R. (2009). Prevalence of early childhood caries among very young urban Boston children compared with US children. Journal of Public Health Dentistry, 69(3), 156–162.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    CDC—chronic disease—oral health—at A glance. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/AAG/doh.htm#aag.
  7. 7.
    American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. (2011). Policy on early childhood caries (ECC): Classifications, consequences, and preventive strategies. Retrieved from http://www.aapd.org/media/Policies_Guidelines/P_ECCClassifications.pdf.
  8. 8.
    Gussy, M. G., Waters, E., & Kilpatrick, N. M. (2006). A qualitative study exploring barriers to a model of shared care for pre-school children’s oral health. British Dental Journal, 201(3), 165–170.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Parisotto, T. M., Steiner-Oliveira, C., Silva, C. M., Rodrigues, L. K., & Nobre-dos-Santos, M. (2010). Early childhood caries and mutans streptococci: A systematic review. Oral Health & Preventive Dentistry, 8(1), 59–70.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    de Castilho, A. R. F., Mialhe, F. L., de Souza Barbosa, T., & Puppin-Rontani, R. M. (2013). Influence of family environment on children’s oral health: A systematic review. Jornal De Pediatria, 89(2), 116–123.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Filoche, S., Wong, L., & Sissons, C. H. (2010). Oral biofilms: Emerging concepts in microbial ecology. Journal of Dental Research, 89(1), 8–18.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Gussy, M. G., Waters, E. G., Walsh, O., & Kilpatrick, N. M. (2006). Early childhood caries: Current evidence for aetiology and prevention. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 42(1–2), 37–43.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Chaffee, B. W., Gansky, S. A., Weintraub, J. A., Featherstone, J. D. B., & Ramos-Gomez, F. J. (2014). Maternal oral bacterial levels predict early childhood caries development. Journal of Dental Research, 93(3), 238–244.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    van Palenstein Helderman, W. H., Soe, W., & van ‘t Hof, M. A. (2006). Risk factors of early childhood caries in a Southeast Asian population. Journal of Dental Research, 85(1), 85–88.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. (2012). Guideline on infant oral health care. Pediatric Dentistry, 34(5), e148–e152.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Aligne, C. A., Moss, M. E., Auinger, P., & Weitzman, M. (2003). Association of pediatric dental caries with passive smoking. Journal of the American Medical Association, 289(10), 1258–1264.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Petersen, P. E. (2005). Sociobehavioural risk factors in dental caries—International perspectives. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, 33(4), 274–279.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hooley, M., Skouteris, H., Boganin, C., Satur, J., & Kilpatrick, N. (2012). Parental influence and the development of dental caries in children aged 0–6 years: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of Dentistry, 40(11), 873–885.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Skeie, M. S., Riordan, P. J., Klock, K. S., & Espelid, I. (2006). Parental risk attitudes and caries-related behaviours among immigrant and western native children in Oslo. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, 34(2), 103–113.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Butani, Y., Weintraub, J. A., & Barker, J. C. (2008). Oral health-related cultural beliefs for four racial/ethnic groups: Assessment of the literature. BMC Oral Health,. doi: 10.1186/1472-6831-8-26.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Health literacy—Fact sheet: Health literacy basics. Retrieved from http://www.health.gov/communication/literacy/quickguide/factsbasic.htm.
  22. 22.
  23. 23.
    Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Office of Oral Health. (2009). The status of oral disease in Massachusetts: A great unmet need. Department of Public Health.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Gussy, M. G., Waters, E. B., Riggs, E. M., Lo, S. K., & Kilpatrick, N. M. (2008). Parental knowledge, beliefs and behaviours for oral health of toddlers residing in rural Victoria. Australian Dental Journal, 53(1), 52–60.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Freedman, David A. (2005). Statistical models: Theory and practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Fisher, R. A. (1922). On the interpretation of χ2 from contingency tables, and the calculation of P. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, 85(1), 87–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Fieller, E. C., Hartley, H. O., & Pearson, E. S. (1957). Tests for rank correlation coefficients. I. Biometrika, 44, 470–481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    United States Census Bureau, American FactFinder (2010). Race and Hispanic or Latino origin. http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=CF.
  29. 29.
    Bridges, S. M., Parthasarathy, D. S., Wong, H. M., Yiu, C. K. Y., Au, T. K., & McGrath, C. P. J. (2014). The relationship between caregiver functional oral health literacy and child oral health status. Patient Education and Counseling, 94(3), 411–416.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Vann, W. F, Jr, Lee, J. Y., Baker, D., & Divaris, K. (2010). Oral health literacy among female caregivers: Impact on oral health outcomes in early childhood. Journal of Dental Research, 89(12), 1395–1400.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Vanagas, G., Milasauskiene, Z., Grabauskas, V., & Mickeviciene, A. (2009). Associations between parental skills and their attitudes toward importance to develop good oral hygiene skills in their children. Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania), 45(9), 718–723.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Davidson, N., Skull, S., Calache, H., Murray, S., & Chalmers, J. (2006). Holes a plenty: Oral health status a major issue for newly arrived refugees in Australia. Australian Dental Journal, 51(4), 306–311.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Nicol, P., Al-Hanbali, A., King, N., Slack-Smith, L., & Cherian, S. (2014). Informing a culturally appropriate approach to oral health and dental care for pre-school refugee children: A community participatory study. BMC Oral Health, 14, 69-6831-14-69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deborah A. Finnegan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lori Rainchuso
    • 2
  • Susan Jenkins
    • 2
  • Erin Kierce
    • 2
  • Andrew Rothman
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Dental HygieneMiddlesex Community CollegeLowellUSA
  2. 2.Forsyth School of Dental HygieneMCPHS UniversityBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations