Socio-environmental determinants of the delay in the first dental visit: Results of two population-based cohort studies in Brazil

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Abstract

The objective of this study was to describe the timing of the first dental visit and investigate the association of socioeconomic and behavioral factors with dental visit delay among 10/11-year-old children from two live-birth population cohorts with extremely contrasting socioeconomic profiles. Follow-up data (2004–2005) from cohorts of Ribeirão Preto (RP) (n=790) and São Luís (SL) (n=673) were evaluated. Delay in dental visit was defined as not visiting a dentist before the age of 7. Covariates included family socioeconomic characteristics, mother-related health behavior, and child-related characteristics. Prevalence ratios with robust standard errors were estimated. In both cohorts, less than 5% of children had visited a dentist before the age of two and about 35% of them had not visited a dentist before the age of seven. Lower mother’s schooling and lack of private health insurance were associated with the delay in first dental visit for both cohorts. A small number of mother’s prenatal care visits and being from a single-father family or a family without parents were only associated in the RP cohort, while having X4 siblings and lifetime dental pain were associated in the SL cohort. The association with dental pain probably reveals a preventive careseeking behavior. Therefore, the percentage of delayed first dental visit of children was very high even among those with the most educated mothers. Further studies are necessary to analyze recent changes and underlying factors related to access to first dental visit after the implementation of the National Oral Health Policy in 2006.

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Soares, A. L. F. H., Ribeiro, C. C. C., Thomaz, E. B. A. F., Queiroz, R. C. S., Alves, C. M. C., Ferraro, A. A., … Saraiva, M. C. P. (2021). Socio-environmental determinants of the delay in the first dental visit: Results of two population-based cohort studies in Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, 54(1), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1590/1414-431X202010161

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