The oral health of Indigenous children: A review of four nations
Article first published online: 20 SEP 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health © 2010 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians)
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Special Issue: Special Indigenous Health Issue
Volume 46, Issue 9, pages 483–486, September 2010
How to Cite
Parker, E. J., Jamieson, L. M., Broughton, J., Albino, J., Lawrence, H. P. and Roberts-Thomson, K. (2010), The oral health of Indigenous children: A review of four nations. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 46: 483–486. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2010.01847.x
- Issue published online: 20 SEP 2010
- Article first published online: 20 SEP 2010
- Accepted for publication 4 March 2010.
- Indigenous children;
- dental caries prevalence;
- early childhood caries;
- oral health disparities
This review of the oral health of children in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA demonstrates that significant oral health inequalities exist in each nation. Despite traditionally low levels of disease in Indigenous communities, dental caries is now highly prevalent and of increased severity among Indigenous children in comparison to their non-Indigenous counterparts. Early childhood caries is particularly prevalent. The high level of dental disease experience at an early age is associated with increased rates of general anaesthesia and greater risk of dental caries in later life. The rates and severity of dental caries experienced by young Indigenous children are even more alarming when we consider that dental caries is essentially a preventable disease. The success of specific preventive programmes is encouraging; these approaches should be further evaluated and implemented as part of broader health promotion programmes for Indigenous children and families in order to decrease current oral health disparities.