Behavioral and social factors related to dental caries in 3 to 13 year-old children from João Pessoa, Paraíba, Brazil
Keywords:Dental caries, oral hygiene, cariogenic diet, social conditions
AbstractPurpose: To record the prevalence of dental caries in 3-13 year-old children and test the association of presence of caries with some social and behavioral factors. Methods: Cross-sectional design. Data were collected from the Cariology Clinics’ database of the Federal University of Paraíba, in João Pessoa, Brazil, for the period between 2005 and 2008. A total of 410 dental charts were selected, and the children were divided into 3 age groups (G1: 3-5 year-old, n=111; G2: 6-9 year-old, n=165; and G3: 10-13 year-old, n=134). Data were collected from the dental records on clinical examination to compute dmf-t and DMF-T indexes, oral hygiene habits, diet, and socio-economic factors. Chi-square tests and Fisher’s exact tests at the 5% level of significance were used for statistical analysis. Results: Dental caries prevalence was: G1(dmf-t: 2.38±3.27; DMF-T: 0.02±1.49); G2(dmf-t: 2.97±3.12; DMF-T: 0.72±1.26); G3(dmf-t: 0.89±1.73; DMF-T: 2.65±3.00). About 32.7% of the children were caries-free. For the oral health habits most subjects reported toothbrushing three or more times daily (44.8%), without assistance (61.9%), and no use of dental floss (73.1%). The majority of children (97%) reported consumption of sugar between meals. Family income and education were associated with dental caries. Conclusion: The results suggest a high prevalence of caries disease in the sample and specific association with some socioeconomic and behavioral risk factors.
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