A new report in the journal Pediatrics shows that children’s level of regular dental care is strongly associated with their own parents’ dental care history. This really comes as a no brainer to me.
It is noted that tooth decay and cavities is particularly common among low-income and minority children. The researchers looked at data from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey and its Child Health Supplement. This consisted of a cross sectional study of basic health and demographic information and answers to questions on health topics of current interest.
There were around 6000 matched pairs of data regarding dental visits for both a child and parent in the same household. Among parents who reported seeing a dentist during the preceding year, 86% of children had also seen a dentist. On the other hand 64% of the children of parents with no recent dental visit had seen a dentist during the previous 12 months. In addition, among parents who put off their own dental care because of financial considerations, 27 % of their children also had dental care deferred. In contrast, only 3 % of children whose parents had not put off their own care care had their dental care deferred.
I think it is interesting to explore these relationships amongst parents and children and their dental treatment, but again it really does not come as much of a surprise to me. It seems to illustrate that children are receiving more care than the parents and the more the parents see a dentist the more likely a child will also see a dentist.