Children, sealants, and guardians who smoke: Trends in NHANES 2001-2002 to 2010-2012


R C. Wiener

Document Type


Publication Date



Objective—There are many factors influencing dental behavior. The relationship of smokers who smoked inside the home toward preventive care (measured as dental sealant placement) of the children living in their homes is examined in this study. Methods—Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys in 2001-2002 and in 2011-2012 were analyzed. Data included variables to someone smoking inside the home, dental sealant placement in children ages 6-less than 20 years, and sociodemographics which were obtained from a dental examination and a home interview. Results—There were 3,352 eligible participants in 2001-2002 and 2,374 in 2011-2012. The unadjusted odds ratio for not having dental sealants when there was someone who smoked inside the home as compared with not having dental sealants when there was no one who smoked inside the home was 1.57 (95%CI: 1.17, 2.10) in 2001-2002. The unadjusted odds ratio was 1.56 (95% CI: 1.20, 2.03) in 2011-2012. When the data were adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, insurance, and income to poverty ratio, the 2001-2002 adjusted odds ratio was 1.31 (95%CI: 0.97, 1.78). The adjusted odds ratio in 2011-2012 was 1.41 (95% CI:1.01, 1.95). Conclusions—Children who lived in homes in which someone smoked inside the home were more likely to not have dental sealants compared with children who lived in homes in which no one smoked inside the home. These results are important for understanding the factors related to access to dental care issues for children.