The independent impact of household- and neighborhood-based social determinants on early childhood caries: a cross-sectional study of inner-city children

Fam Community Health. 2005 Apr-Jun;28(2):168-75. doi: 10.1097/00003727-200504000-00008.


This study examined the relationship between early childhood caries (ECC) and measures of socioeconomic status as environmental determinants of oral health inequalities. Dental caries and quality of oral hygiene were reported on 384 young inner-city children (24-35 months) by clinical examination. Early childhood caries was diagnosed in 18.5% of children. Ethnicity (P < 0.001) and neighborhood (P < 0.001) were the social variables significantly predictive of ECC in a logistic regression model. Living in a deprived neighborhood and the mother being of East European descent were the social variables with strongest association with ECC. These variables can be considered adequate criteria to identify groups at risk within the overall population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Belgium / epidemiology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dental Caries / epidemiology*
  • Dental Caries / ethnology
  • Dental Health Surveys
  • Ethnicity
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oral Hygiene / statistics & numerical data
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Urban Health / statistics & numerical data*