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Prevalence of early childhood caries and associated risk factors in preschool children of Sangamner, Maharashtra

Author: 
Dr. Hrishikesh Karpe, Dr. Swapnil Patil, Dr. Vinaya Kumar Kulkarni, Dr. Hitendra Jain and Dr. Rutuj Jadhav
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Background/Introduction: Dental caries is one of the most common chronic diseases of early childhood. Dental problems in early childhood have been shown to be predictive of future dental problems, Epidemiological studies reveal considerable variationin the prevalence of caries in preschool children ranging from 3 to 85% with strong correlation to socioeconomic status and ethnicity along with local factors. This highlights the importance of prevalence studies and understanding of the local factors influencing ECC in designing a preventive program. Aim and Objectives: To determine Early Childhood Caries (ECC) prevalence and its risk factors in preschool children of Sangamner City, Maharashtra. Methodology: A sample of 1325 children between 24 and 71 months of age was selected from play homes and nursing homes of various parts of the city, who were clinically examined for dental caries using mouth mirror under day light. Dental caries was recorded according to World Health Organization criteria. The parents/caregivers of each child were interviewed with a structured questionnaire. The data was subjected to statistical analysis. Results: Out of total 1325 children, 755 were affected with ECC showing an overall prevalence of 57%. The factors identified which were highly significantly correlated are age of child, mother education level, father occupational status, bottle feeding and sweetened drink consumption at night and not utilizing routine health care services. Conclusions: Future health promotion and education programs should include oral health issues and the risk factors for ECC, its prevention & consequences should be addressed. Public funded oral health programs should be started and should be targeted at the children from lower socioeconomic status. Effective strategies should be developed to promote the use of brush and paste for cleaning teeth and discouraging inappropriate bottle‑feeding, discouraging on demand consumption of chocolates and sugars. Most factors identified were preventable and needs attention to promote dental health education and routine dental visits.

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