Title: Oral health condition in an Italian preschool population
Abstract: Aim This was to describe caries experience in Sardinian kindergarten children and the possible association with social, behavioural and dietary factors. Methods 418 kindergarten children (209 males, 209 females), aged 2.5-6.5 years, were enrolled. Dental status (dmft, dmfs) and presence of plaque were recorded by one calibrated examiner. Social, behavioural and dietary factors were investigated with an ad hoc prepared questionnaire. Statistics These were descriptive and associations between caries experience and background variables were tested using c2 test. Logistic regression models were built up to assess the odds ratios (ORs) of caries prevalence and background variables. Results The caries experience rate was 29.9% of the total sample. The mean dmfs index was 3.26±7.37. The ds mean value was statistically higher in males at 3.41 versus 2.23 in females. Dmfs and sub indices were very high skewed in the total sample and in all age groups. Presence of plaque was recorded in 142 subjects (34.0%) and it was related to caries experience (20.1% without caries and 13.9% with caries) but not statistically significant. In logistic analysis, the socioeconomic status families were positively associated with caries experience OR=1.4 (95% CI: 1.2-1.9). Subjects with high sweet foods consumption showed a higher risk (60%) of caries experience than those not OR=1.6 (95% CI: 1.1-2.3). Children who cared for themselves regarding oral hygiene habits showed a lower risk for caries (OR=0.4 95% CI: 0.2-0.7). Conclusion This study documented widespread neglect of dental health of preschool children in Sardinia. Untreated decayed teeth dominated the dmfs score among examined population, indicating a high rate of treatment needs.