Oral health of children and adults in Latino migrant and seasonal farmworker families

J Immigr Minor Health. 2007 Jul;9(3):229-35. doi: 10.1007/s10903-006-9033-7.


Oral health is one of the greatest unmet health needs of immigrant farmworkers. This paper describes use of dental services and current oral health problems of children and parents in farmworker families. Interviews were conducted with 108 women in Latino farmworker families in western North Carolina and southwestern Virginia. Dental care had been received in the past year by 73% of children, 47% of mothers, and 37% of spouses. Children were most likely to have received care on a regular basis, while adults usually received no care or emergency care. In general, children's teeth were in better condition than parents' teeth. Children's receipt of dental care and their teeth condition were predicted by being born in the US. No family member's care was related to acculturation or mother's education, typical predictors of health behavior. Differences among family members suggest that access to services, not lack of education, is the primary barrier facing farmworker families.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Agriculture*
  • Child
  • Child Welfare / ethnology*
  • Dental Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Family Health / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Surveys
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • North Carolina / epidemiology
  • Oral Hygiene
  • Seasons*
  • Transients and Migrants / statistics & numerical data*
  • Virginia / epidemiology