Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 699–705 | Cite as

Acculturation and Dental Caries Among Children in Spain

  • Raquel Valcarcel SoriaEmail author
  • Eduardo Bernabé
  • Maria Luisa Somacarrera Perez
Original Paper


This study explored the relationship between different indicators of acculturation and children’s caries experience. Data from 313 children attending the Dental Clinic of the European University of Madrid were analysed. Acculturation was measured via generational status, age at arrival, length of residence and language spoken at home. The association between each indicator of acculturation and caries experience was assessed in Poisson regression models adjusting for confounders. First- and second-generation migrant children had greater caries experience than Spanish-born children. These differences only persisted for first-generation migrant children after adjustment for confounders. Children who arrived in Spain before age 6 years, who lived in Spain for 10 or more years and who spoke a language other than Spanish at home had greater caries experience than Spanish-born children. Inequalities in caries experience between migrant and native children were evident (favouring the local children) and independent of family’s socioeconomic circumstances.


Migration Acculturation Dental caries Children Public health dentistry 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest in relation to this study.

Supplementary material

10903_2018_848_MOESM1_ESM.docx (23 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 22 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Biomedical SciencesEuropean University of MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.Unit of Dental Public Health, Division of Population and Patient Health, King’s College London Dental Institute at Guy’sKing’s College and St. Thomas’ HospitalsLondonUK
  3. 3.Primary Health-Care Centre “Paseo Imperial”MadridSpain

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