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On dental health and related factors in Finnish immigrant children in Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology, Pediatric Dentistry.
1989 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the postwar period Swedish communities have become more multicultural. Although there are about 120,000 Finnish immigrant children below the age of 18 in Sweden, knowledge about their dental health is rather sparse.

Dental health and related factors were studied in Finnish immigrant children aged 5,8 and 14 years, living in the city of Luleå, northern Sweden. The effect of early dental health education to parents at the Child Health Centres was studied in one age group in Luleå and in one in the municipality of Botkyrka, Stockholm county. All groups of Finnish children were compared to Swedish children matched for age, sex and social class.

At the age of 5 the prevalence of dental caries was higher than in Swedish control children. At the age of 8, this difference persisted, but was less pronounced in the permanent than in the primary dentition. The net mean caries increment between 5 and 8 years of age was 11.2 in the Finnish group compared to 7.4 in the Swedish. The proportion of children selected for individual prophylaxis and the time used between age 5 and 8 did not differ between the Finnish and the Swedish groups.

In the Finnish teenagers, the prevalence of dental caries was higher than in the Swedish teenagers. Periodontal health was equally good in all age groups of Finnish and Swedish children. The difference in caries prevalence between the two groups was mainly explained by a more frequent between-meal eating and a higher intake of sucrose-containing products between meals in the Finnish children. Even though they had been included in organized dental care with individual prophylaxis, this was obviously not enough to guarantee them as good a dental health as in the Swedish children.

Flourides were used to an equal extent in the Finnish and Swedish groups. Toothbrushing was less frequent in all Finnish age groups than in the Swedish controls.

The Finnish parents were less convinced than the Swedish about their ability to influence the child’s dental health, and more Finnish than Swedish parents also found it necessary to visit a dentist only when they had toothache.

The Finnish teenagers who had received almost twice as many hours of individual prophylaxis as the Swedish, knew less about the etiology of dental caries but equally much about the etiology of gingivitis.

The best result of early dental health education to parents, evaluated by comparing prevalence of dental caries of the children at the age of 3, was obtained when information was given three times in Finnish. If information in the mother tongue cannot be offered, an extra session of information in Swedish can also benefit the dental health of the child.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 1989. , 42 p.
Umeå University odontological dissertations, ISSN 0345-7532 ; 36
Keyword [en]
dental caries, dental health behaviour, dental health education, gingivitis, immigrant children, language, longitudinal
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-99294ISBN: 91-7174-448-7OAI: diva2:786493
Public defence
1989-12-15, föreläsningssal D, Odontologiska kliniken, 9 tr, Umeå, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 09:00

S. 1-42: sammanfattning, s. 43-115: 5 uppsatser

Available from: 2015-02-06 Created: 2015-02-05 Last updated: 2015-04-08Bibliographically approved

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