European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 151–158 | Cite as

Oral health in young individuals with foreign and Swedish backgrounds — a ten-year perspective

  • B. JacobssonEmail author
  • G. Koch
  • T. Magnusson
  • A. Hugoson


AIM: To investigate oral health status and coherent determinants in children with foreign backgrounds compared with children with a Swedish background, over a ten year period. DESIGN AND METHODS: In 1993 and 2003, cross-sectional studies with random samples of individuals in the age groups 3, 5, 10 and 15 years were performed in Jönköping, Sweden. All the individuals were personally invited to a clinical and radiographic examination of their oral health status. They were also asked about their attitudes to and knowledge of teeth and oral health care habits. The final study sample comprised 739 children and adolescents, 154 with a foreign background (F cohort) and 585 with a Swedish background (S cohort). RESULTS: In both 1993 and 2003, more 3- and 5 year olds in the S cohort were caries-free compared with the F cohort. In 1993, dfs was higher among 3- and 5 year olds in the F cohort (p<0.01) compared with the S cohort. In 2003, dfs/DFS was statistically significantly higher in all age groups among children and adolescents in the F cohort compared with the S cohort. When it came to proximal tooth surfaces, the percentages of individuals who were caries-free, with initial carious lesions, with manifest carious lesions and with restorations among 10-year-olds in the F cohort were 55%, 23%, 4% and 18% in 1993. The corresponding figures for the S cohort were 69%, 20%, 6% and 5% respectively. In 2003, the values for the F cohort were 54%, 29%, 4% and 13% compared with 82%, 12%, 1% and 5% in the S cohort. In 2003, the odds of being exposed to dental caries among 10- and 15-year-olds in the F cohort, adjusted for gender and age, were more than six times higher (OR=6.3, 95% CI:2.51–15.61; p<0.001) compared with the S cohort. CONCLUSIONS: There has been a decline in caries prevalence between 1993 and 2003 in all age groups apart from 3-year-olds. However, the improvement in dfs/DFS was greater in the S cohort compared with the F cohort in all age groups. The difference between the F and S cohorts in terms of dfs/DFS was larger in 2003 compared with 10 years earlier. In 2003, the odds ratio for being exposed to dental caries was almost six times higher for 10- and 15-year-olds with two foreign-born parents compared with their Swedish counterparts.

Key Words

Dental caries epidemiology gingivitis immigrants 


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Copyright information

© European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Jacobsson
    • 1
    Email author
  • G. Koch
    • 2
  • T. Magnusson
    • 1
  • A. Hugoson
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Oral Health, School of Health SciencesJönköping UniversityJönköpingSweden
  2. 2.Department of Paediatric DentistryThe Institute for Postgraduate Dental EducationJönköpingSweden

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