Background: Children and youth in foster care are considered to have special health care needs, including oral health care needs. This study compares the self-identified oral health care needs and access to oral health care among youth who have and have not experienced foster care. Methods: Data were drawn from the 2019 Minnesota Student Survey, a statewide survey of public school students in the 5th, 8th, 9th, and 11th grades (N = 169,484). Youth with a history of foster care (3%) were compared with youth with no history of foster care for 7 oral health indicators. Results: Youth with a history of foster care reported more oral health problems and less access to oral health care than their peers with no history of foster care. Using logistic regression to control for key covariates, the odds of an oral health problem for youth with a history of foster care were 1.54 higher (95% confidence interval, 1.44 to 1.65) than for their peers. Conclusions: Youth with a history of foster care report more oral health problems than their peers. Dentists should recognize the oral health concerns of these youth in the context of their special health care needs and be prepared to render appropriate care. Future studies should explore barriers to oral health care among this vulnerable population. Practical Implications: Youth in foster care have self-identified oral health care needs that should be assessed by dental professionals.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of the American Dental Association|
|State||Published - Aug 1 2021|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by grant UL1TR002494 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health (Dr. Shlafer) , and by Cooperative Agreement U48DP005022-04-05 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , Prevention Research Center Program. Additional funding was provided by Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry Clinician Educator Career Development Award, grant K02HP30810 , from the Health Resources and Services Administration (Dr. Sarvas) . Disclosure. None of the other authors reported any disclosures.
© 2021 American Dental Association
- Foster home care
- access to oral health care
- foster care
- oral health care for children
- pediatric dentistry