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Journal of Applied Oral Science

Print version ISSN 1678-7757On-line version ISSN 1678-7765


MOURA, Lúcia de Fátima Almeida de Deus; MOURA, Marcoeli Silva de  and  TOLEDO, Orlando Ayrton de. Dental caries in children that participated in a dental program providing mother and child care. J. Appl. Oral Sci. [online]. 2006, vol.14, n.1, pp.53-60. ISSN 1678-7757.

The main goal of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of caries in children that participate in a dental program attending mothers and children in Teresina, Piauí, Brazil. A selection was made of 343 children of both genders, from 3 to 6 years of age. The mothers answered questionnaires and children were examined at the Infant Dental Clinic of the Federal University of Piauí. The epidemiological index dmft was applied and active white spot lesions were included. The SPSS for Windows program, version 11.1 was used and non-parametric tests carried out (Friedman and Kruskal-Wallis). An alpha error of 5% (0.05) was considered for the null hypothesis of false rejection, with a confidence interval of 95%. The results showed that 57.5% (197) of the children were breast-fed for a period longer than 12 months. The mean dmft index and percentages of caries-free children at the age of 3 was 1.86 (58.82%); at 4 years of age 1.94 (57.60%); at 5 years of age 1.98 (56.86%) and at 6 years of age 2.42 (42.55%). The decay component (d) was prevalent at all ages. When active white spot lesions were added to the dmft index, there was an increase of 7.2% for children who had caries activity and/or previous caries experience and 2.61% for those with dmft equal to zero. The daily consumption of fermentable carbohydrates and free demand breast-feeding were factors increasing caries activity. Dental follow-up after the program and the number of daily brushings were shown to be factors providing protection against caries . Based on the results, the authors were able to conclude that the program caused a positive impact on caries disease control, as the number of dental appointments kept influenced the dmft index values in a statistically significant manner.

Keywords : Dental caries; Epidemiology; Health promotion; Oral health.

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