JpnJDentWelf_21-1_6.pdf 1.43 MB
Overview of community-based oral health support activities at the shelter care facilities and dental caries prevalence of children during temporary custody
shelter care facility
child abuse & neglect
dental caries prevalence
Child abuse is a serious social issue, with the number of consultations having rapidly increased in recent years. Major incidents that threaten children's lives occur constantly; thus, child abuse is a crucial problem that must be solved as quickly as possible.
When children undergo dental examinations or emergency medical treatment, an understanding of their words, their actions, and their oral health statuses may yield clues that lead to early detection and reporting of child abuse.
Therefore, dental health professionals are anticipated to play a role in preventing child abuse. We conducted a survey study of children sheltered at three temporary shelter care facilities in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. We investigated dental examinations, oral health instruction, and other support activities provided for these children.
The survey results yielded the following findings.
1) The number of children sheltered due to child abuse was comparable to the number of children sheltered for other reasons.
2) Among the abused children, the most prevalent age group was elementary school children (ages 6-11years; 48.4%). followed by preschool children (ages 0-5 years; 29.9%). and junior high school/high school children (ages 12-18 years; 21. 7%).
3) Compared with average children, children in shelter care were more likely to have experienced dental caries and to have untreated teeth; these children demonstrated a high average number of teeth that had experienced dental caries, as well as a high average number of untreated teeth.
4) In contrast, no difference in the morbidity of dental caries was observed between children sheltered due to abuse and children sheltered for other reasons.
These results indicate that proactive support is necessary for children who demonstrate oral health problems, such as a high prevalence of dental caries, regardless of whether they have been abused, since such manifestations can be interpreted as signs of maltreatment.
Japan Journal of Dental Welfare
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Copyright (c) 2016 日本歯科医療福祉学会
University Medical Hospital
Graduate School of Biomedical & Health Sciences