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Oral Health and Preventive Dentistry



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Oral Health Prev Dent 14 (2016), No. 3     3. June 2016
Oral Health Prev Dent 14 (2016), No. 3  (03.06.2016)

Page 267-273, doi:10.3290/j.ohpd.a35619, PubMed:26870850

Prevalence and Predictors of Early Childhood Caries in 3- to 6-year-old South Indian Children - A Cross-sectional Descriptive Study
Gopal, Satya / Chandrappa, Vinay / Kadidal, Uloopi / Rayala, Chandrasekhar / Vegesna, Madhuri
Purpose: To determine the prevalence and potential risk factors of ECC in 3- to 6-year-old preschool children.
Materials and Methods: A sample of 477 preschool children aged 3 to 6 years was randomly selected from the schools in the area of study. Caries was recorded according to the WHO criteria from 1997. Information regarding demographic data, socioeconomic status, feeding habits, oral hygiene practices, birthweight and the children's visits to the dentist was obtained through a structured questionnaire. The data were analysed using Student's t-test, the chisquare test and Pearson's correlation analysis.
Results: The prevalence of early childhood caries in 3- to 6-year-old preschool children was found to be 27.3% with a mean dmft of 2.36. ECC increased significantly with age and is more predominant in girls. The maxillary arch was more affected than mandibular arch and children belonging to the low socioeconomic group showed higher caries prevalence. ECC is more prevalent in children accustomed to on-demand breast feeding, bottle feeding at night, betweenmeal snacking and sweetened pacifier use. Factors such as increased frequency of toothbrushing, use of toothbrush and fluoridated dentifrice were found to be the protective factors against the risk of ECC.
Conclusion: A strong correlation between the risk factors studied and ECC was found. Health education, proper guidelines on feeding and oral hygiene practices and access to early oral health care can substantially reduce the risk and prevalence of ECC.

Keywords: early childhood caries, feeding practices, oral hygiene practices, preschool children, socioeconomic status