Income gradients in oral health according to child age
Published Web Locationhttps://www.researchgate.net/publication/277560969_Income_gradients_in_oral_health_according_to_child_age
This study aimed to confirm whether the well-known income disparities in oral health seen over the life course are indeed absent in 9- to 11-yr-old children, and to explore the role of access to dental care in explaining the age-profile of the income gradient in child oral health. We used data from the 2007 United States National Survey of Children's Health. Income gradients in parental reports of children's decayed teeth or cavities, toothache, broken teeth, bleeding gums, and fair/poor condition of teeth were assessed in stratified analyses according to age of child (1-5, 6-8, 9-11, 12-14, and 15-17 yr), using survey logistic regression to control for family-, parental-, and child-level covariates. Health insurance status and use of preventive dental care were the indicators for children's access to dental care. The adjusted ORs for the effect of family income on having decayed teeth or cavities, toothache, and fair/poor condition of teeth were not significant in 9- to 11-yr-old children. Different age-patterns were found for broken teeth and bleeding gums. The attenuation of the income gradients in having decayed teeth or cavities, toothache, and fair/poor condition of teeth, previously seen in 9- to 11-yr-old children, was also seen in 15- to 17-, 12- to 14-, and 6- to 8-yr-old children, respectively, after controlling for children's access to dental care. This study supports the attenuation of income inequalities in oral health in 9- to 11-yr-old children. Access to dental care could attenuate income gradients in oral health in other age groups.
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