Mothers caries increases odds of childrens caries

J. A. Weintraub, P. Prakash, S. G. Shain, M. Laccabue, S. A. Gansky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


There are many determinants of childrens dental caries. We hypothesized that a mothers untreated caries was associated with increased likelihood of her childrens untreated caries, after controlling for other factors. This population-based study was conducted in a rural, primarily Hispanic, California community. Interview and dental examination data for mother-child (children < 18 yrs old) dyads were analyzed. In a Generalized Estimation Equation (GEE) logit model for mothers (n = 179) and children (n = 387), maternal untreated caries was a statistically significant correlate of childs untreated caries, odds ratio (OR) = 1.76 (95%CI: 1.10, 2.70), adjusted for demographic factors. This relationship did not change when behavioral and dental utilization factors were added to the model, OR = 1.85 (95% CI: 1.12, 3.07). Maternal untreated caries almost doubled the odds of childrens untreated caries and significantly increased childs caries severity by about 3 surfaces. Caries prevention and dental utilization programs for mothers and their children should be increased.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)954-958
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of dental research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • child
  • dental caries
  • family health
  • mother-child relations
  • oral health disparities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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