To explore factors affecting children’s dental attendance among new immigrants. Participants in this cross-sectional study were 314 new immigrant child-parent pairs. Parents’ demographics, oral health knowledge, perceptions, child’s caries status, and oral health behaviours were analysed as determinants for dental attendance. Only 43 % of children had a dental visit within the year. Parents believing in the effectiveness of parental checking were four times more likely to seek dental care for their child [adjusted OR (adOR) 4.48, 95 % CI 1.79–11.13]. Parents perceiving dental check-up as a painful experience were 67 % less likely to visit the dentist (adOR 0.33, 95 % CI 0.17–0.63). Lack of insurance and time reduced the odds of a dental visit by 65 and 59 %, respectively (adOR 0.35, 95 % CI 0.16–0.68; adOR 0.41, 95 % CI 0.12–0.99). The care-seeking behaviour of new immigrant children was determined by parents’ perceived ability to detect caries, availability of time and dental insurance, and their perceived dental experience.
Immigrants Dental care utilization Health services accessibility Healthcare disparities Oral health perceptions
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M. ElSalhy is supported by Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions (AIHS) Clinician Fellowship (RES0027148) and the Honorary Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship at University of Alberta. We are grateful to all the children and parents/guardians who participated in the study as well as community settlement agencies who facilitated our data collection.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
All authors declare no conflict of interests.
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