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Gaceta médica de México

Print version ISSN 0016-3813


MEDINA-SOLIS, Carlo Eduardo et al. Association between socioeconomic status and oral hygiene among preschoolers enrolled in the IMSS preventive dental program in Campeche. Gac. Méd. Méx [online]. 2006, vol.142, n.5, pp.363-368. ISSN 0016-3813.

Objective. Determine the association between socioeconomic status and oral hygiene in the primary dentition of preschool children. Materials and methods. We undertook a cross-sectional study of 1,303 children attending 10 schools in Campeche, Mexico. Every child was clinically examined in a portable dental chair by one of four examiners. We used a questionnaire addressed to the mothers to collect data on socioeconomic and socio demographic variables-including attitudinal variables dealing with the perceived importance of oral health. Oral hygiene was assessed appraising the frequency of tooth brushing and the presence of dental plaque. Data analysis included non-parametric tests using STATA 8.2®. Results. Mean age was 4.36 ± 0.79 years and 48.3% of children were girls. Of the study population, 17.8% (n= 232) were classified as having inadequate oral hygiene, 50.9% (n= 663) having moderate oral hygiene, and 31.3% (n= 408) having adequate oral hygiene. Children who were rated more frequently as having inadequate hygiene (p < 0.05) had mothers with a negative attitude toward oral health, were users only of public medical insurance (as opposed to users of private services), and had not used dental services in the year prior to the study. Finally, we observeda decrease in the adequacy of oral hygiene associated with a decrease in socioeconomic status. Conclusions. Our findings showed that oral hygiene was closely associated with socioeconomic status. This implies that if a reduction of oral health inequalities is to be achieved, the strategies andresources targeting these goals must take into account the existing differences between population groups with more or fewer social disadvantages.

Keywords : Oral hygiene; preschool children; socioeconomic status; Mexico.

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