Prevalence of Dental Caries and its Association with Risk Factors amongst Preschool Children of Bharakahu, Islamabad
Background: It is necessary to understand the prevalence and pattern of distribution of dental caries for better planning and execution of preventive activities in the right dimension. This study provided the base line data about prevalence of dental caries in pre-school children of Bharakahu, Islamabad, and its association with brushing, sugar consumption and previous dental visits.
Material and Methods: A total of 384 preschool children aged 3-5-year-old were screened from periurban area of Bharakahu, Islamabad, using type IV screening method. Data about decayed, missing and filled teeth was recorded using decayed-missing-filled teeth (DMFT) index. Socio-demographics, brushing, sugar consumption and previous dental visits were also recorded and analyzed and their association with dental caries was assessed using Chi square and Odds ratio.
Results: The overall caries prevalence among the sample was 49%. The mean DMFT score with 1 SD was 2.07±3.215. There was no significant difference in caries prevalence in relation to gender of the children. The most significant association was for brushing and low DMFT. Children who brushed their teeth were 4 times more likely to have a low DMFT score of <1 than those who did not brush at all (P<0.001). Likewise, those who had visited a dentist in the past were twice more likely to have a low DMFT (P=0.003). The association of low sugar consumption and a low DMFT score was statistically insignificant (OR 1.4; P=0.878). Hence, brushing turned out to be the most significant factor in determining the caries experience for a child.
Conclusions: This study provided us with the baseline data regarding the prevalence of caries in primary school going children of Bharakahu. The prevalence of unmet dental treatment needs was reflected through a high number of ‘decayed teeth’ as compared to missing and filled ones highlighting the need for restorative care in these children.
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