Preventing caries in young children of immigrant Bangladeshi families in New York: Perspectives of mothers and paediatricians

Alison Karasz, V. Patel, S. Ranasinghe, K. Chaudhuri, D. McKee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective: Childhood caries is common in South Asian immigrant families. Few children visit a dentist by 12 months, as recommended by current guidelines. The paediatric visit has important potential for linking children to preventive care. The aim of this study was to understand the barriers and facilitators to caries prevention for young children of immigrant Bangladeshi families in New York. Qualitative data were collected as a preliminary step in the development of an oral health counselling intervention for South Asian children. Basic Design: Qualitative interviews on child feeding and oral health prevention were conducted with Bangladeshi mothers. Qualitative interviews were conducted with paediatricians regarding their experiences with providing care. The data were analysed using standard qualitative approaches. Setting: Paediatric practices serving low income Bangladeshi immigrants in New York City. Participants: 26 mothers of children aged 6-24 months receiving services in five paediatric settings and 15 paediatricians providing care in these settings. Results: Both mothers and their paediatricians described risky feeding practices, communication problems and a lack of compliance. Oral health for young children was a low priority for some mothers. Most, however, were concerned about childhood caries but lacked skills or resources to decrease caries risk. Conclusions: Results support our plan to develop an empowerment-based counselling intervention to address caries risk in children. Paediatric dentists should be aware of the barriers to caries prevention in this group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-84
Number of pages5
JournalCommunity Dental Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Dental caries
  • Eigrants and immigrants
  • Minority health
  • Oral health
  • Patient education counselling
  • Primary prevention
  • South Asians

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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