Prevalence of early childhood caries and socioeconomical level

Delia Montero Canseco, Patricia López Morales, Roberto Carlos Castrejón Perez


Early childhood caries (ECC) is a particular destructive form of caries that destroys dental structures of children during the first 3 years of life. Objective: To find out if there is an association between caries prevalence and socioeconomical level in children who attended the pediatric dental clinic at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México (UNAM) during the school year 2006-2007. Material and methods: A transversal study was performed with a sample of 100 patients ranging from 12 to 48 months of age. An oral examination was carried out to determine the presence of caries. A questionnaire was applied to the parents to establish their socioeconomical level. Results: The prevalence of early childhood caries in the sample was 59.5%. A statistical significant difference by gender and age (x2=43.27 p=.001) was found. In relation to the average of teeth affected in children it was greater (2.8 ± 1.75) when the father had technical or professional studies (F=4.5, p=0.01). And also when the mother had studied junior high or high school (3.05 ± 2.69) (F=3.9, p=0.02). When children consumed 3 or more sodas or soft drinks daily, there was an increase in the number of teeth to be extracted (1.91±2.06) (F=3.3 p=0.03) that also occur when children ate candies during twice the day (2.09. ±2.07) (F=4.6 p=0.12). Conclusions: The prevalence of ECC was high, and the educational level of the parents and dietary habits of the children were directly related to the presence of tooth decay of the surveyed underage patients. 

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