Background: The effect of larger and distal environmental and societal factors on oral health is established and the concept of social capital (SC) is gaining importance. Aim: The aim of the study is to evaluate the association of dental caries (DC) experience of children with parental social SC. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 200 pairs of 5-12-year-old children and their parents of Kaloor (65th division), Kerala. A 30-item self-administered neighborhood SC Index questionnaire. DC of children was assessed as per the WHO guidelines. Results: The final analysis included 186 pairs of children and parents, out of which 54.8% were boys. The mean caries experience of children was 3.3 ± 3.7. A significantly higher proportion of parents rated their children as 'poor oral health' in caries experienced group than caries-free group (P = 0.006). No other significant differences were found with total SC and demographic variables except for 'frequency of having meal together.' Regression analysis showed that trust, control, and political domains were significant with carious status. On adjusting the confounders that were significant in bivariate analysis, only control domain of the SC remained significant. Conclusion: The social control domain (family members or neighbors actions that seek to correct deviant behavior) of SC was associated with caries experience of the children. Distal factors such as SC can influence the caries status of children.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health