Abstract

Objective. Tooth decay is related to poverty, measured at individual and neighbourhood levels. It is however uncertain if living in an advantaged neighbourhood reduces tooth decay similarly in Australian Indigenous and non-Indigenous children. Methods. This study describes tooth decay by neighbourhood characteristics and Indigenous status, and examines inequalities by Indigenous status. Results. In deciduous dentition the percentage of children with tooth decay and untreated decay decreased on average 26% and 20% respectively in the non-Indigenous sample from poor to affluent neighbourhoods. In Indigenous children tooth decay and untreated decay decreased on average 6% and 8%, respectively, from poor to affluent neighbourhoods. Conclusion. While all children from affluent areas had less tooth decay, the gap between non-Indigenous and Indigenous children remained significant across neighbourhood characteristics. This suggests that both universal and targeted prevention programs should be considered for all Indigenous children irrespective of where they live.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-6869
Print ISSN
1049-2089
Pages
pp. 161-177
Launched on MUSE
2016-02-02
Open Access
No
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