An important paper entitled ‘Oral Health Birth Cohort Studies: Achievements, Challenges and Potential’, resulting from two events sponsored by the Foundation, has recently been published in the Journal of Dental Research.
A symposium was held during the 2018 IADR General Session in London on ‘Birth cohort studies on oral health: Main findings and methodological considerations'. This identified the need for a broader discussion on the value and potential for OHBCS and a workshop was subsequently held in Bangkok, in November 2019. This was the first meeting of its kind and involved 12 experts who have been engaged in such studies.
The paper brings together the available long-term data from 15 oral health birth cohort studies (OHBCS), conducted in low-, middle- and high-income countries across five continents, and describes the similarities and differences between these studies. The findings are summarised and grouped under five key topics: the negative impact of detrimental socioeconomic status on oral health changes over time, the role of unfavourable patterns of dental visiting on oral health, associations between general and oral health, nutritional and dietary effects on oral health and intergenerational influences on oral health.
There are plans to build on the success of the Bangkok workshop. A scoping review has been undertaken. There are also moves to extend the collaboration by establishing an OHBCS consortium.