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Open Access Tooth Brushing Behaviors and Fluoridated Toothpaste Use Among Children Younger Than Three Years Old in Chicago

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This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY licence.

Purpose: To describe toothbrushing frequency/duration and toothpaste use among young children in an urban, vulnerable population in Chicago, Ill., USA.
Methods: Caregivers of children younger than three years old were recruited from university and community pediatric dental clinics. Caregivers completed a 37-item questionnaire in English or Spanish about predictors/covariates (demographics, child/caregiver oral health, access to dental care) and primary outcomes (child toothbrushng behaviors, toothpaste use). Models employed generalized logit and ordinal logistic regression.
Results: A total of 148 caregivers completed the survey. The average child age was 18.8 months (±7.4 SD). Approximately 41 percent of children brushed once a day or less, and 19 percent of caregivers did not regularly assist. Almost all children used toothpaste (96 percent), but 36 percent of caregivers did not know if it contained fluoride. Increased child brushing frequency was associated with older child age, higher caregiver brushing frequency, history of a child dental visit, and caregiver assistance (P<0.05). Children with a history of dental visits were seven times more likely to brush for 30 seconds or more, and receiving caregiver assistance was associated with brushing longer than two minutes (P <0.05).
Conclusion: Most children brushed at least once daily and nearly all of them used toothpaste. Access to dental care, parental involvement, and parental oral health were associated with favorable child toothbrushing behaviors. Toothbrushing duration, frequency, and encouraging family assistance are modifiable protective factors and opportunities for intervention.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Dr. Avenetti is a clinical associate professor and graduate program director, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, College of Dentistry, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Ill., USA;, Email: [email protected] 2: Dr. Lee is an assistant professor, Department of Anesthesiology, College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Ill., USA 3: Dr. Pugach is a biostatistician, Methodology Research Core, and Mses, Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Ill., USA 4: Rosales, Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Ill., USA 5: Sandoval are research specialists, Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Ill., USA 6: Dr. Martin is an associate professor, Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Ill., USA

Publication date: January 1, 2020

More about this publication?
  • Acquired after the merger between the American Society of Dentistry for Children and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry in 2002, the Journal of Dentistry for Children (JDC) is an internationally renowned journal whose publishing dates back to 1934. Published three times a year, JDC promotes the practice, education and research specifically related to the specialty of pediatric dentistry. It covers a wide range of topics related to the clinical care of children, from clinical techniques of daily importance to the practitioner, to studies on child behavior and growth and development. JDC also provides information on the physical, psychological and emotional conditions of children as they relate to and affect their dental health.
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