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J Can Dent Assoc. 2016 Feb;82:g3.

ORAL HEALTH STATUS OF IMMIGRANT AND REFUGEE CHILDREN IN NORTH AMERICA: A SCOPING REVIEW.

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1
University of Toronto, Toronto ON.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The aim of this scoping review was to assess the oral health status of the children of refugees and immigrants ("newcomers"); the barriers to appropriate oral health care and use of dental services; and clinical and behavioural interventions for this population in North America.

METHODS:

Explicit inclusion and exclusion criteria were used in searching electronic databases to identify North American studies between 2007 and 2014 that reported oral health status, behaviours and environment of children of newcomers. Additional studies from 1995-2008 were found in a recently published review. Pertinent data from all selected studies were summarized.

RESULTS:

Overall, 32 relevant North American studies were identified. In general, children of newcomers exhibit poorer oral health compared with their non-newcomer counterparts. This population faces language, cultural and financial barriers that, consequently, limit their access to and use of dental services. Intervention programs, such as educational courses and counseling, targeting newcomer parents or their children are helpful in improving the oral health status of this population.

CONCLUSIONS:

Children of newcomers are suffering from poor oral health and face several barriers to use of dental care services. The disparity in dental caries between children of newcomers and their counterparts can be reduced by improving their parents' literacy in the official language(s) and educating parents regarding good oral health practices. An appropriate oral health policy remains crucial for marginalized populations in general and newcomer children in particular.

PMID:
27548669
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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