Association of socioeconomic and educational indicators with dental caries among 12-year-old students living in a capital city in southern Brazil
OBJECTIVE: The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of dental caries in a population of 12-year-old schoolchildren in the city of Curitiba and to evaluate the association between dental caries and socioeconomic and educational variables.
METHODS: Data were obtained from a socioeconomic and educational questionnaire assessment and a clinical examination to determine the index of decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMF-T). A total of 451 children were examined, and the data obtained were analyzed using SPSS 14.0 and Stata programs.
RESULTS: The prevalence of caries was 22.2%, with a mean DMF-T of 0.37 (±0.90). Schoolchildren in public schools showed a higher mean DMF-T (0.39±0.93) and were 3.98 times more likely to develop caries compared to students from private schools. With regard to socioeconomic factors, the prevalence of dental caries in children in class C was 3.51 times greater than that in children in class A, i.e., 251% greater. There was also an association between low maternal education and an increase in the prevalence of dental caries in children.
CONCLUSION: In this study, dental caries is directly associated with low socioeconomic and cultural indicators of children’s families.
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