Background: Self-esteem (SE) is suggested to influence the relationship between orthodontic treatment need and oral health related quality of life (OHRQoL), but evidence lacks. The aim of the present study was to investigate SE in the relationship between subjective orthodontic treatment need (SOT) and OHRQoL in children. Methods: This cross-sectional study was embedded in the Generation R Study, a multi-ethnic population-based cohort. In total, 3849 10-year old children participated in the present study. OHRQoL, measured with the Child Oral Health Impact Profile-ortho, and SOT were assessed within parental questionnaires. SE was measured with a modified version of the Harter’s self-perception profile rated by the children. The role of SE in the association between SOT and OHRQoL was evaluated with linear regression models. Furthermore, the difference in this association between children with high and low SE was investigated. Results: SOT was significantly inversely associated with OHRQoL (borderline: β(95%CI) = -0.55 (-0.77, -0.33); definite: -1.65 (-1.87, -1.54)). Children with lower SE scores showed a stronger relationship between borderline and definite SOT with OHRQoL (β (95%CI) = -0.56 (-0.81, -0.31) resp. -1.68 (-1.94, -1.42)) than children with higher SE scores did (β (95%CI) = -0.51 (-0.97, -0.04) resp. -1.43 (-1.90, -0.95)). Conclusion: The relationship between SOT and OHRQoL is not based on SE of children. However, SE modifies the relationship between SOT and OHRQoL. Work still needs to be done to find an explanation for the effect modification by SE in the relationship between subjective health perceptions and OHRQoL.

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Journal European Journal of Orthodontics
Kragt, L, Wolvius, E.B, Jaddoe, V.W.V, Tiemeier, H.W, & Ongkosuwito, E.M. (Edwin). (2018). Influence of self-esteem on perceived orthodontic treatment need and oral health-related quality of life. European Journal of Orthodontics, 40(3), 254–261. doi:10.1093/ejo/cjx054.

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