This study assessed the oral health disparities and oral health care needs of children whose parents are Southeast Asian immigrant women in arranged transnational marriages. We used the baseline data of the Lay Health Advisor Approach to Promote Oral Health Program (LHA-POHP) to explore the disparities in oral health between immigrant and native children, and the factors associated with their oral health. A cross-sectional community-based study was conducted to collect data from mothers and their preschool children in Southern Taiwan in 2011. A total of 590 (440 natives, 150 immigrants) children aged 4-6 years and their mothers completed the questionnaire and oral examination. Multiple regression models were used to analyze the association between children's oral health and their related factors. The caries index was 6.05 in immigrant children and 3.88 in native children (p < 0.001). The caries prevalence of maxillary anterior teeth in the labial surfaces was higher among immigrants, ranging from 14.7 to 22%. The factor associated with children's caries index was maternal tooth brushing frequency (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 8.95, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.95-41.05). When the mothers did not direct children to brush teeth after eating sweets, their children were more likely to have decayed teeth (aOR = 3.54, 95% CI 1.04-12.03). Children's filled teeth were related to their dental regular check-ups (aOR = 2.28, 95% CI 1.26-4.10). Disparities in oral health among immigrant and native children were observed. The findings suggest that culturally adequate oral health promotion intervention programs should be implemented for immigrants.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes