Oral Health & Preventive Dentistry



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Oral Health Prev Dent 12 (2014), No. 3     26. Sep. 2014
Oral Health Prev Dent 12 (2014), No. 3  (26.09.2014)

Page 277-288, doi:10.3290/j.ohpd.a31669, PubMed:24624395

Can Socioeconomic Status Indicators Predict Caries Risk in Schoolchildren in Saudi Arabia? A Cross-sectional Study
Al Agili, Dania Ebrahim / Alaki, Sumer M.
Purpose: To determine the prevalence and identify signi cant socioeconomic predictors of dental caries among children aged 9 and 14 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Materials and Methods: A random sample of 24 elementary and middle schools in Jeddah was selected. All 3rd and 8th graders were screened (N = 1655) for caries. A parent questionnaire was administered to collect information on selected socioeconomic indicators. Untreated caries was the outcome of interest. Categorical variables were reported as frequencies and percentages; crude and adjusted odds ratios of caries association with SES were produced with 95% con dence intervals and P-values.
Results: A total of 1655 students were examined. The overall caries experience was 83.13%. Untreated caries prevalence in primary and permanent teeth of all students was 63.01% and 56.7%, respectively. In primary teeth, mother's education, family income and having medical insurance were signi cant unadjusted predictors of caries. Family income was the only adjusted predictor of caries in primary teeth. In permanent teeth, most SES indicators were signi cant in the univariate analysis. However, mother's education was the only adjusted variable associated with caries.
Conclusions: The prevalence of caries is rising and aggregate measures of SES did not distinguish between children with or without caries, particularly among younger children. The most powerful individual SES predictors of caries were family monthly income and parents' education. Until a more valid aggregate measure of SES is available, communitywide approaches to caries prevention and risk reduction for all young children should be utilised to reduce SES-related caries risk.

Keywords: caries, children, permanent teeth, predictors, prevalence, primary teeth, oral health, Saudi Arabia, socioeconomic
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