Prevalence, Severity and Associated Factors of Dental Caries in 3-6
Year Old Children
Dr. Sarumathi T,
M.Sc Epidemiology, Reader, Department of Oral Medicine & Radiology, Sree Balaji Dental College and Hospital, Bharath University,
68/30 Thiruvalluvar Street, Ethiraj Nagar, West mambalam, Chennai - 600033, Tamilnadu, India.
Phone: +91 9444385847, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Objectives: To determine the prevalence and the severity of dental caries in 3-6 year old children in Chennai and to elucidate the factors which affect the dental caries in 3-6 year old children.
Methods: This study was a cross-sectional survey which was done on 527 children who were in the age group of 3 to 6 years, who were from 6 private and 6 corporation schools in Chennai, India. Two instruments were developed, preâ€“tested and validated for the study. One questionnaire which contained the various risk factors which had to be measured and the dental caries indices were used on children to collect the relevant data. A separate questionnaire was distributed to the parents to measure the socio economic status and to know the parentsâ€™ educational levels.
Results: The prevalence of dental caries was found to be 63.4% in the study samples. The association between dental caries and the associated factors was determined by calculating the Odd`s ratio. Logistic regression was performed to test the magnitude of the association between dental caries and the factors which were associated with it, and linear regression was done for the continuous variables. There was a statistically significant high association between the oral hygiene practice, the eating habits of the children, the economic status and the parentsâ€™ literacy levels and the caries prevalence in this study.
Conclusion: This study showed that preventive efforts should be focused on young children, as the benefits are cumulative. The oral health promotion should particularly be targeted to the areas of need, to redress the inequalities.