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Pediatr Clin North Am. 2009 Dec;56(6):1481-99. doi: 10.1016/j.pcl.2009.09.010.

Oral health of indigenous children and the influence of early childhood caries on childhood health and well-being.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics & Child Health and Department of Oral Biology, University of Manitoba, 507-715 Mc Dermot Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 3P4, Canada.


Dental caries in Indigenous children is a child health issue that is multifactorial in origin and strongly influenced by the determinants of health. The evidence suggests that extensive dental caries has an effect on health and well-being of the young child. This article focuses on early childhood caries as an overall proxy for Indigenous childhood oral health because decay during early life sets the foundation for oral health throughout childhood and adolescence. Strategies should begin with community engagement and always include primary care providers and other community health workers.

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