Effects of Community Water Fluoridation on Dental Caries Disparities in Adolescents

Go Matsuo, Jun Aida, Ken Osaka, Richard Gary Rozier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Despite improvements in the prevalence of dental caries, disparities are still observed globally and in the U.S. This study examined whether community water fluoridation (CWF) reduced dental caries disparities in permanent teeth of 10- to 19-year-old schoolchildren in North Carolina. We used cross-sectional data representing K-12 schoolchildren in North Carolina (NC) public schools. A poisson regression model was used to determine whether the association between children's parental educational attainment and the prevalence of dental caries of children differed by children's lifetime CWF exposure. We analyzed data on 2075 students. Among the children without any CWF exposure in their life, statistically significant caries disparities by parental educational attainment were observed. Compared to the children of parents with more than high school education, the relative risk for those with a parent with a high school education was 1.16 (95% CI = 1.01, 1.33) and those with less than a high school education was 1.27 (95% CI = 1.02, 1.60). In contrast, these disparities were not observed among children exposed to CWF throughout their lives. Socioeconomic disparities in dental caries were not observed among 10-19-year-old schoolchildren with lifetime CWF exposure. CWF seemed to reduce dental caries disparities.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume17
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar 19

Keywords

  • community water fluoridation
  • dental caries
  • health disparities
  • oral health
  • prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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