Dental caries and oral health-related factors in a sample of Greek preschool children
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To assess the caries prevalence and some background factors in 3- to 5.5-year-old children in the municipality of Thessaloniki, Greece.
One calibrated examiner examined the children of all municipal day care centres for dmfs, existence of visible dental plaque and presence of black stain. Examination was made on site using disposable dental mirrors. Questionnaires were given to parents for assessing socio-economic status, oral hygiene habits (brushing frequency, toothpaste use) and sucking/feeding at sleep habits (nursing bottle, its content and pacifier use).
Out of a total of 950 children, both clinical examination and questionnaire data were available for 804 children. The overall mean dmfs was 1.3 (SD = 3.8). The caries prevalence was 22.6 %, while the presence of black stain was evident in 2.4 % of the children. Intra-examiner agreement was estimated with Kendall’s τ b = 0.99. A generalised linear model used to fit a Poisson regression for the analysis of count outcome data (dmfs) and logistic regression was used for binary outcome data (presence or absence of visible dental plaque). Statistically significant association was found between dmfs and the presence of visible dental plaque. The country of origin and education status of the parents were found to be significant factors for dmfs. The presence of black stain was negatively correlated with dmfs.
The mean dmfs was lower than earlier Greek data. Country of origin, education status of the parents and visible dental plaque seemed to be important caries risk factors, while the presence of black stain was a strong caries resistance predictor.
KeywordsEarly childhood caries Oral hygiene habits Preschool children Parental birth country Black stain
We are grateful to all the children and their mothers and to the kindergarten principals for their cooperation in performing this study. We express our thanks to Prof. Stecksen-Blicks for her critical observations on the manuscript.
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