European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 64–69 | Cite as

Caries prevention with xylitol lozenges in children related to maternal anxiety. A demonstration project

  • J. Olak
  • M. Saag
  • T. Vahlberg
  • E. Söderling
  • S. Karjalainen
Scientific Article


AIM: This was to compare the effect of a prevention program between children of anxious and non-anxious mothers. METHODS: Mothers (n=120) with high and low dental anxiety scores (DAS≥15 and DAS ≤8, respectively), and with high levels of mutans streptococci (≥105cfu/mL) were recruited at a maternity clinic of Tartu, Estonia. Two groups: 30 highly anxious, and 30 non-anxious mothers used xylitol (6 g/day) for 33 months and a non-treatment group of 60 mothers, both highly and low anxious (30 in each sub-group), acted as controls. All mothers were interviewed for oral health habits and education, and their dental health was examined. Due to discontinued participation 75% of the children (n=90) were examined at 2 and at 3 years of age. RESULTS: Anxious mothers brushed less frequently (p=0.014), had a longer time since their last dental visit (p<0.0001), and a lower level of education (p<0.0001) than their non-anxious counterparts. However, maternal anxiety had no effect on children’s dental health, contrary to the caries prevention program which was effective both at 2 and at 3 years of age (p<0.01; OR 6.6, 1.8–25.0 and OR 3.9, CI 1.5–10.0, respectively). CONCLUSION: Children benefited from the caries prevention program, irrespective of maternal anxiety.

Key words

Dental fear early childhood caries prevention toddlers xylitol 


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Copyright information

© Adis International 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Olak
    • 1
  • M. Saag
    • 1
  • T. Vahlberg
    • 2
  • E. Söderling
    • 3
  • S. Karjalainen
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of StomatologyUniversity of TartuTartuEstonia
  2. 2.Institute of Clinical MedicineBiostatistics, TurkuFinland
  3. 3.Institute of DentistryUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland

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