Families and their oral health

25 Oct 2012

This report provides information on the oral health and oral health impacts experienced by Australian children using data from the 2010 National Dental Telephone Interview Survey.

It seeks to determine if this experience is closely related to the oral health of their parents. Additionally, the report explores the role family circumstances play in children's experience of oral health.

Main findings:

On average, 9.7% of Australian children experienced toothache and 12.8% avoided some foods because of oral problems. Some 16.7% of children experienced at least one of these impacts. Older children (aged 11-17) were more likely than younger children (aged 5-10) to experience either of these impacts.

Children who experienced an oral health impact in the last 12 months were more likely than children who did not to:

  • have a perceived need for dental care reported by their parent
  • have their oral health reported by their parent as fair or poor
  • have parents who avoided or delayed visiting the dentist themselves due to cost
  • be from families who report difficulty having to pay a $150 dental bill
  • have parents who also experienced an oral health impact in the same period (particularly avoidance of some foods).
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