Jamieson LM, Roberts-Thomson KF, Sayers SM. Dental caries risk indicators among Australian Aboriginal young adults. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2010; 38: 213–221. © 2009 John Wiley & Sons A/S
Abstract – Objectives: To determine dental caries risk indicators among a birth cohort of Australian Aboriginal young adults (n = 442).
Methods: Data were from the Aboriginal Birth Cohort study, a prospective longitudinal investigation of Aboriginal individuals born 1987–1990 at an Australian regional hospital. Models representing demographic, socioeconomic, behavioural, dental service utilization and clinical oral health variables were tested using multivariate regression.
Results: The percent DT > 0 was 72.9 (95% CI 68.7–77.1), mean DT was 4.19 (95% CI 3.8–4.6), percent DMFT > 0 was 77.4 (95% CI 73.5–81.3) and mean DMFT was 4.84 (95% CI 4.4–5.3). After controlling for other covariates, risk indicators for percent DT > 0 included soft drink consumption every day or a few times a week (PR 1.25, 95% CI 1.08–1.45), not consuming milk every day or a few times a week (PR 1.16, 95% CI 1.04–1.30) and sweet consumption every day or a few times a week (PR 1.18, 95% CI 1.04–1.33). Risk indicators for mean DT included sweet consumption every day or a few times a week (B = 1.14, 95% CI 0.27–2.02), nonownership of a toothbrush (B = 0.91, 95% CI 0.10–1.87) and presence of plaque (B = 2.46, 95% CI 0.96–3.96). Those with 4 + occupants in their house the previous night had 1.2 times the prevalence of having DMFT > 0 than their counterparts with less household occupants (95% CI 1.01–1.49). Percent DMFT > 0 was also associated with consumption of soft drink every day or a few times a week (PR 1.18, 95% CI 1.04–1.34) and consumption of sweets every day or a few times a week (PR 1.23, 95% CI 1.10–1.37). Mean DMFT was higher among those who consumed sweets every day or a few times a week (B = 0.13, 95% CI 0.05–0.22) and who had dental anxiety (B = 0.10, 95% CI 0.01–0.19).
Conclusions: In an Australian Aboriginal young adult cohort, risk indicators for dental caries included social determinants such as household size, dietary behaviours such as regular consumption of soft drink and sweets, dental behaviour such as nonownership of a toothbrush and dental anxiety.