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International Journal of Dentistry
Volume 2010, Article ID 593487, 17 pages
Research Article

Sociodemographic Variation of Caries Risk Factors in Toddlers and Caregivers

1Division of Biostatistics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA
2Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, Indiana University School of Dentistry, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA
3Department of Cariology, Restorative Sciences and Endodontics, University of Michigan School of Dentistry, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1078, USA

Received 17 December 2009; Revised 5 May 2010; Accepted 29 July 2010

Academic Editor: W. Murray Thomson

Copyright © 2010 G. J. Eckert et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. Dental caries is the most common chronic childhood disease, with numerous identified risk factors. Risk factor differences could indicate the need to target caregiver/patient education/preventive care intervention strategies based on population and/or individual characteristics. The purpose of this study was to evaluate caries risk factors differences by race/ethnicity, income, and education. Methods. We enrolled 396 caregiver-toddler pairs and administered a 105-item questionnaire addressing demographics, access to care, oral bacteria transmission, caregiver's/toddler's dental and medical health practices, caregiver's dental beliefs, and caregiver's/toddler's snacking/drinking habits. Logistic regressions and ANOVAs were used to evaluate the associations of questionnaire responses with caregiver's race/ethnicity, income, and education. Results. Caregivers self-identified as Non-Hispanic African-American (44%), Non-Hispanic White (36%), Hispanic (19%), and “other” (1%). Differences related to race/ethnicity, income, and education were found in all risk factor categories. Conclusions. Planning of caregiver/patient education/preventive care intervention strategies should be undertaken with these caries risk factor differences kept in mind.