Home Dental Radiology Children’s dental service use reflects their parents’ dental service experience and insurance

Children’s dental service use reflects their parents’ dental service experience and insurance

by adminjay


Decisions about children’s oral health care are made by parents. Parents’ dental insurance,
dental service use, and perceived affordability all influence their children’s oral
health care.


Using data from the 2016 National Health Interview Survey, the authors constructed
a database of 4,396 nationally representative US children and their linked household
adults. The authors assessed the relationship between children’s and parents’ use
of dental services, private and public dental insurance, and deferral of oral health
care owing to cost. To adjust for factors that may influence outcomes independently,
the authors performed multivariate analyses to consider child, parent, and household


Children have 2 times the risk of lacking a dental visit in a year if the parent has
none, 7 times the risk of reportedly lacking dental coverage if the parent has none,
and nearly 10 times the risk of having care deferred owing to cost if the parent finds
oral health care unaffordable. Affordability risk factors for children include older
age and minority race, whereas protective factors include public insurance, parents
with higher educational attainment, and female-led households. Increased oral health
care use by children was associated with states that provide more extensive adult
Medicaid dental benefits.


Greater parental dental service use, dental coverage, and ability to afford care benefit
their children’s use of oral health care.

Practice Implications

Policies by employers and government that expand quality private and public coverage
for adults hold strong promise to improve oral health care for both parents and their

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