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Pesquisa Odontológica Brasileira

Print version ISSN 1517-7491


SANTOS, Ana Paula Pires dos  and  SOVIERO, Vera Mendes. Caries prevalence and risk factors among children aged 0 to 36 months. Pesqui. Odontol. Bras. [online]. 2002, vol.16, n.3, pp.203-208. ISSN 1517-7491.

The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of caries and risk factors in outpatients of the Pediatric Ambulatory of the Pedro Ernesto University Hospital aging up to 36 months. After signing informed consent forms, the parents answered a structured questionnaire in order to evaluate risk factors for dental caries, including socioeconomic status, oral hygiene and dietary habits. A single investigator carried out the dental examination which assessed the presence of caries, biofilm and gingival bleeding. The data were analyzed by means of the Epi Info program, utilizing the chi-squared test. The children’s mean age was 22.9 months. The prevalence of caries, including white spot lesions, was 41.6%, and the mean def-s was 1.7 (± 2.5). The most affected teeth were the maxillary incisors, and the most common lesion was the white spot. No significant associations were found between the prevalence of caries and socioeconomic status, frequency of oral hygiene, nocturnal bottle- and breast-feeding or cariogenic food and beverage intake during the day. However, the association between caries and oral hygiene quality (dental biofilm) was statistically significant (p < 0.001). The results suggest that the presence of a thick biofilm was the most important factor for the occurrence of early childhood caries in the evaluated sample.

Keywords : Dental caries; Primary prevention; Infant; Child, preschool.

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