Prevalence, and early childhood caries risk indicators in preschool children in suburban Nigeria

Prevalence, and early childhood caries risk indicators in preschool children in suburban Nigeria

Author by Dr. Titus Oyedele

Language: English


Background: Early Childhood Caries (ECC) is defined as the presence of caries lesion in an primary tooth in children below the age of 71 months. It is a significant public health problem with consequences for the growth and development of affected children. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and ECC risk indicators in a suburban population in Nigeria. Methods: The data of 497 children aged 6 months to 71 months who were recruited through a household survey conducted in Ile-Ife, Nigeria was analysed for prevalence of ECC and risk indicators. Information on children’s ages, sex, socioeconomic status, tooth brushing habits, sugary snacks consumption, use of fluoridated toothpaste, birth rank, infant-feeding practices, breastfeeding practices, maternal age at childbirth, and maternal knowledge of oral health was obtained. Children’s oral hygiene and caries status was also determined. Risk factors associated with ECC were determined using logistic regression analysis. Results: Thirty-three (6.6 %) children had ECC. Four (0.8 %) had severe ECC. The four risk indicators for ECC were the child’s gender, mothers’ knowledge of oral health, consumption of sugary snacks in between meals more than three times a day, and the child’s oral hygiene status. Females (PR: −0.06; 95 % CI: −0.01– -0.01; p = 0.02), and children with mothers who had good knowledge of oral health (PR: −0.06; 95 % CI: −0.11––0.008; p = 0.02) were less likely to have ECC. Children who consumed sugary snacks in between meals three times a day or more (PR: 0.05; CI: 0.003 – 0.01; P = 0.04) and children with fair oral hygiene (PR: 0.05; 95 % CI: 0.005–0.10; p = 0.03) were more likely to have ECC. Conclusions: The prevalence of ECC in the study population was low. Promoting good oral hygiene practices and enhancingmothers’ knowledge of oral health may help reduce further, the risk for ECC in the study population.

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