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Caries experience and dental attendance of Somali children living in a British city

Type:  Articles

Pubblication date:  /4/2002

Authors:  H.D. Rodd*, L.E. Davidson*, P. M. Bateman**, H.D. Lunn***

Language:  English

Institution:  *Department of Child Dental Health, School of Clinical Dentistry, University of Sheffield **Community Health Sheffield NHS Trust, Sheffield ***Dental Public Health Unit, North Nottinghamshire Health Authority, UK

Publication:  European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry

Publisher:  Ariesdue Srl

Keywords:  Dental caries, Somali, Children, Dental attendance

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Title:  Caries experience and dental attendance of Somali children living in a British city

Abstract:  Aim To facilitate the planning of future dental services, this study sought baseline data, relating to caries experience and dental attendance, for Somali children resident in Sheffield, UK. Methods A convenience sample of 4 to 14 year old Somali children was drawn from pupils attending Somali religious education classes, youth groups and selected schools in Sheffield. During 1998 and 1999, 238 Somali children were subjected to a dental examination and a structured interview. Results The mean age of the study population was 9.4 years with equal male and female distribution. The majority of children (58%) had been born in Somalia compared with 29% in the UK or 13% in another country. Just over half of the sample had English-speaking mothers. The mean dmft for 4 to 6 year olds was 2.12 and 50% demonstrated a past caries experience. In the 7 to 10 year old group, mean dmft was 2.05 and caries had again affected 50% of subjects. Mean DMFT for 11 to 14 year olds was 1.37 and 58% showed evidence of previous caries experience. The motherís reported ability to speak English was a strong predictor of caries experience in the group as a whole. Interestingly, an English-speaking mother was associated with low caries prevalence in young children, but with high caries prevalence in children over the age of 7 years. Finally, only 57% of subjects had seen a dentist within the previous 12 months, and almost half of these visits had been prompted because of a specific problem. Conclusion It is evident that some Somali children have a high caries experience, with motherís ability to speak English being the greatest predictor of dental disease. Preventive strategies need to be developed for this population and regular dental attendance should be encouraged.

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