Kids ape parents when it comes to dental care

February 1st, 2010 - 3:14 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Feb 1 (ANI): A new study has revealed that kids are more likely to visit a dentist if their parents do too.

The research team from MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) showed that regular dental care is strongly associated with their parents’ history of seeking dental care.

“When parents don’t see the dentist, their children are much less likely to see the dentist,” said Dr Inyang Isong, MPH, of the MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) Centre for Child and Adolescent Health Policy, the study’s lead author.

“We also found that the children of parents who have put off their own dental care for financial reasons are more likely to have their care deferred due to cost as well. It looks like strategies to promote oral health should focus on the whole family,” Isong added.

For the new study, researchers analyzed data from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey and its Child Health Supplement.

Survey responses including data regarding dental visits for both a child and parent in the same household was available for around 6,100 matched pairs.

The study showed that among parents, who reported seeing a dentist during the preceding year, 86 percent of children had also seen a dentist.

However, only 64 percent of the children of parents with no recent dental visit had seen a dentist during the previous 12 months.

It also showed that among parents who put off their own dental care because of financial considerations, 27 percent of their children also had dental care deferred.

In contrast, only 3 percent of children whose parents had not put off their own care had their dental care deferred.

“Even when children are covered by medical insurance, it appears that financial barriers are influencing parents’ decisions about accessing dental care for their children,” said Isong, a clincal fellow at MGHfC.

“We’re now in the process of looking at the impact of dental insurance - something not addressed by the NHIS - and other enabling resources on the relationship between parents’ and children’s receipt of dental care,” Isong added.

The study appears in journal Pediatrics. (ANI)

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