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Original Research

Open Access

The effect of socio-economic status on children's dental health

  • Aggelos Theristopoulos1
  • Andreas Agouropoulos1
  • Kyriaki Seremidi1
  • Sotiria Gizani1
  • William Papaioannou2,*,

1Department of Paediatric Dentistry, School of Dentistry, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 115 27 Athens, Greece

2Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, School of Dentistry, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 115 27 Athens, Greece

DOI: 10.22514/jocpd.2024.078 Vol.48,Issue 4,July 2024 pp.52-60

Submitted: 23 January 2024 Accepted: 02 April 2024

Published: 03 July 2024

*Corresponding Author(s): William Papaioannou E-mail: vpapaio@dent.uoa.gr

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to record the oral health status of children from different socioeconomic backgrounds and correlate these findings with parent-associated factors. It comprised a cross-sectional study of healthy children, aged 6–12 years, attending either the Reception and Solidarity Center of the Municipality of Athens or the Postgraduate Paediatric Dentistry Department (NKUA) for dental care. Data regarding the demographics of both parents-guardians, as well as the children, and oral hygiene and dietary habits were collected through a structured questionnaire. This was followed by a thorough clinical examination evaluating oral hygiene status, gingival inflammation and caries experience. Analysis was based on the socioeconomic status (SES) of the parents which was according to the family income. Families with a monthly income of <1400 euros were considered as being of a low SES and families with incomes of >1400 euros as medium. Data were presented in frequency tables and significance of calculated differences was tested using chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests. Multivariate regression analysis was used to detect possible risk factors for development of poor dental health. The sample consisted of 216 children (146 from a low and 70 from a medium SES) with a mean chronological age of 9.19 years. Parents from low SES were younger, of lower education, had lived abroad most of their lives and were unemployed or worked in the private sector. Children from low SES backgrounds reported infrequent dental visits, consumed more meals and had more sugary snacks. This was reflected in their worse dental health with significantly higher values for oral hygiene and caries indices. Despite the above differences, none of the parent-associated factors were significantly correlated to worse dental health. In conclusion, SES of parents is reflected in the oral health of children, although it is not a significant predictor of dental health.


Keywords

Socio-economic status; Oral health; Dental caries; Oral hygiene habits; Dietary habits; Risk factors


Cite and Share

Aggelos Theristopoulos,Andreas Agouropoulos,Kyriaki Seremidi,Sotiria Gizani,William Papaioannou. The effect of socio-economic status on children's dental health. Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry. 2024. 48(4);52-60.

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