Oral Health Practices of State and Non-State-Funded Licensed Childcare Centers in Wisconsin, Usa
Originally Published In
Journal of International Society of Preventive and Community dentistry
Objectives: To determine whether there is a difference between state-funded childcare centers and non-state-funded centers in Wisconsin, USA, with regard to their oral health practices.
Materials and Methods: This is a cross-sectional study using an internet-based survey. The participants were licensed childcare centers in Wisconsin, USA. Of the 1265 eligible childcare centers invited (centers providing day time care to children aged 2-5), 322 chose to participate. The main outcome measures were the practice of tooth brushing as a routine classroom activity, any educational practice related to oral health, any screening and referral practice related to oral health issues, and any practice related to dental emergencies. Mediating variables were profit status, center location, center affiliation, years of operation, licensed capacity, and child to staff ratio. Results: Of the 322 participating centers, 28 centers were classified as state-funded and 294 as non-state-funded. Logistic regression analysis revealed non-state-funded centers were three times [odds ratio (OR): 3.01; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.23, 7.41] more likely to have some kind of oral health practice and five times (OR: 5.18; 95% CI: 2.17, 12.50) more likely to provide oral health education. However, state-funded centers were five times (OR: 5.09; 95% CI: 1.99-13.06) more likely to have tooth brushing as a routine classroom activity.
Conclusion: There is a difference between the oral health practices of licensed childcare centers in Wisconsin. An increase in oral health practices of state-funded centers is warranted and could make a significant difference in the oral health of young children.