Author(s): DiMarco MA, Huff M, Kinion E, Kendra MA
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Abstract Dental caries is the most common infectious disease of children. The majority of children in the United States who experience dental decay are from low-income, minority families. Many low- income, minority families are at risk for homelessness and, indeed, mothers with children are the fastest growing homeless group. Once homeless, families end up in shelters. Shelters are a unique source for the provision of health care; however, the provision of dental care to mothers and children in shelters is limited. At a shelter-based clinic, of a total number of children assessed in a 24-month period (n = 264), 22.7\% (n = 60) had obvious gross dental cavities. The school-aged children (6-12 years) (n = 41) had the highest prevalence of dental cavities (34\%). Consistent with the literature, dental caries was the most prevalent condition of homeless children and the most difficult for which to obtain treatment. Follow-up was difficult because of the transient nature of homeless families.
This article was published in J Pediatr Health Care
and referenced in Pediatric Dental Care