Social Conditions and High Levels of Dental Caries in Five-year-old Children in Brazil

Dantas Cabral de Melo, Márcia M.; Vieira de Souza, Wayner; Tavares, Maria Cristina; Carvalho de Lima, Maria Luiza; Jamelli, Silvia; Lindoso Couto, Geraldo Bosco
January 2015
Journal of Dentistry for Children;Jan-Apr2015, Vol. 82 Issue 1, p29
Academic Journal
Purpose: To identify factors associated with dental caries experience in at least four primary teeth in five-year-old Brazilian children. Methods: his was a case-control study, part of a prior investigation of the prevalence of dental caries in the primary dentition of five-year-old children conducted in 2006 in public health services in Recife, Brazil. Study patients had a decayed, missing, and filled teeth [dmft] score ≥ 4 and controls had a dmft score ≤ 3. he cutoff point was based on the dmft scores mean value of the study population. Categories of independent variables were sociodemographic, family structure, oral health behavior, and use of oral health services. Crude odds ratios and 95% CI were calculated. Variables associated with dmft greater than or equal to four at a significance level of P≤.20 in univariate analyses were included in multivariate logistic regression models using a backward stepwise variable selection method and permanence criterion in the final model of P≤.10. Results: The study included 479 children (171 study patients and 308 controls). After controlling for confounding variables, factors associated with a dmft score ≥4 were children living in households with at least six people, residence in a poor area, caregiver's low educational level, consumption of sweets between meals, and the reason for and location of oral health care seeking. Conclusion: Most factors associated with high levels of dental caries in five-year-old children were related to the social conditions in which they lived.


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