Objective: This study aimed to test the association between maternal smoking during pregnancy and parental-reported experience of dental caries in Indigenous Australian children. Methods: Data were from the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children (LSIC); a populationbased cohort study in Australia. Participants were 1,687 Indigenous Australian children aged 5 or less. Biological, social and behavioural variables were tested using log-linear modelling with binomial regression to determine the association with parental-reported experience of dental caries. Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods were used for multiple imputation of missing data. Results: Overall 25.8% of Indigenous Australian children had dental caries as reported by a carer. In the multivariable model, increased prevalence of parental-reported caries was significantly associated with low maternal education levels (RR=1.60, 95%CI 1.17,2.20) and high sugar consumption (RR= 1.60, 95%CI 1.26,2.02). In the group of children whose mothers smoked tobacco during pregnancy, the association with parent-reported dental caries approached the threshold of significance, but was not significantly associated with caries status in children (RR=1.19, 95%CI 0.99,1.43). After multiple imputation, the most significant association was evident in children of the least educated mothers (RR=1.57, 95%CI 1.25,1.95), breastfeeding more than 12 months (RR=1.26, 95%CI 1.01,1.56), sweet intake more than 30% (RR=1.42, 95%CI 1.15,1.74) and 20-30% (RR=1.29 95%CI 1.04,1.59) and residing in outer regional (RR=1.56, 95%CI 1.19,2.05) or inner regional locations (RR=1.50, 95%CI 1.19,1.88). Mothers’ tobacco smoking status showed a weak association with parent-reported dental decay (RR=1.42, 95%CI 1.20,1.68). Conclusion: This study suggests there is a weak association between maternal smoking during pregnancy and prevalence of parentally-reported dental caries in Indigenous Australian children.
- Dental caries
- Indigenous Australian
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health