Oral health of children of migrant farm workers in northwest Michigan

J Public Health Dent. 1984 Summer;44(3):101-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-7325.1984.tb03059.x.


A considerable number of Hispanic agricultural workers come to Northwest Michigan during the summer every year to harvest fruit and vegetable crops. The Department of Community Dentistry of The University of Michigan School of Dentistry helps provide dental services for these migrant workers and their families. Some 203 five-to-14-year-old children of migrant farm workers were examined for caries and periodontal condition and the results compared with recent national surveys. Traditional indicators of dental caries experience (DMFT/dft and DMFS/dfs indices), periodontal disease (PI), and oral cleanliness (OHI-S) were used by one examiner. These migrant children presented higher numbers of decayed teeth and lower numbers of restored teeth than United States schoolchildren generally. Migrant children also presented less caries-free teeth and higher PI and OHI-S scores than United States children generally.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Agriculture
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • DMF Index
  • Dental Care
  • Dental Caries / epidemiology*
  • Dental Caries / therapy
  • Female
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mexico / ethnology
  • Michigan
  • Periodontal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Periodontal Diseases / therapy
  • Transients and Migrants*