The Center to Address Disparities in Children's Oral Health (CANDO)
CANDO is a multidisciplinary project that is designed around a community-based, participatory research approach for the purpose of promoting the idea that oral health is the gateway to overall physical health.
CANDO proposes to eliminate health disparities among low-income individuals and communities through the promulgation of sound research, evidence-based practices, and policy changes aimed at improving the health and well-being of the general public.
We are a multi-project research Center funded as a cooperative agreement by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) (NIH/NIDCR U54DE019285).
CANDO II was awarded for the period September 24, 2008 to May 31, 2015.
CANDO I was funded September 29, 2001 and ended July 31, 2008
To understand, prevent, and reduce oral health disparities among young children
Preventing Early Childhood Caries (ECC)*
*ECC is tooth decay in young children, also known as "baby bottle tooth decay" or "nursing caries".
Our Research Mission:
• To identify cultural, environmental, workforce, behavioral, and biologic factors associated with health disparities among ethnic/racial groups in the very diverse California environment;
• To enhance our ability to target children likely to be at risk for dental caries;
• To provide successful interdisciplinary interventions to prevent disease and reduce oral health disparities.
Our Center Provides:
• Support for primarily patient and population-oriented research related to reducing oral health disparities in children;
• Core facilities to provide technical services and resources to Center-affiliated projects;
• An enriched environment for training future health-care professionals and scientists, especially those from underrepresented groups;
• Mechanisms to increase collaboration among investigators in Center-Supported projects, across health professions and affiliated collaborating public and private institutions on the west coast
Description of the Problem:
• 1993-94 California Oral Health Needs Assessment Survey found that the prevalence of ECC to be 14% among all preschool children, but 44% among Asians and 39% among Latino children from low income families enrolled in Head Start programs. (Pollick et al.)
• In a recent study of >2000 young children near the CA-Mexican border, the ECC prevalence was 58%. (Ramos-Gomez)
• Recent NHANES reports children 2-5 are the only age group with increasing rates of dental disease, with 28% of children experiencing dental caries.
CAN DO uses a multi-level conceptual model” to investigate and understand the problem of oral health disparities in young children from many perspectives including those of the child, family, community and environment, over time.
Fisher-Owens, et al, 2007, Pediatrics, 120(3), e510.