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Dental plaque, preventive care, and tooth brushing associated with dental caries in primary teeth in schoolchildren ages 6–9 years of Leon, Nicaragua

Miriam del Socorro Herrera, Carlo Eduardo Medina-Solís, Mirna Minaya-Sánchez, América Patricia Pontigo-Loyola, Juan José Villalobos-Rodelo, Horacio Islas-Granillo, Rubén de la Rosa-Santillana, Gerardo Maupomé

(Faculty of Dentistry, National Autonomous University of Nicaragua, León, Nicaragua)

Med Sci Monit 2013; 19:1019-1026

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.884025


Background: Our study aimed to evaluate the effect of various risk indicators for dental caries on primary teeth of Nicaraguan children (from Leon, Nicaragua) ages 6 to 9, using the negative binomial regression model.
Material and Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out to collect clinical, demographic, socioeconomic, and behavioral data from 794 schoolchildren ages 6 to 9 years, randomly selected from 25 schools in the city of León, Nicaragua. Clinical examinations for dental caries (dmft index) were performed by 2 trained and standardized examiners. Socio-demographic, socioeconomic, and behavioral data were self-reported using questionnaires. Multivariate negative binomial regression (NBR) analysis was used.
Results: Mean age was 7.49±1.12 years. Boys accounted for 50.1% of the sample. Mean dmft was 3.54±3.13 and caries prevalence (dmft >0) was 77.6%. In the NBR multivariate model (p<0.05), for each year of age, the expected mean dmft decreased by 7.5%. Brushing teeth at least once a day and having received preventive dental care in the last year before data collection were associated with declines in the expected mean dmft by 19.5% and 69.6%, respectively. Presence of dental plaque increased the expected mean dmft by 395.5%.
Conclusions: The proportion of students with caries in this sample was high. We found associations between dental caries in the primary dentition and dental plaque, brushing teeth at least once a day, and having received preventive dental care. To improve oral health, school programs and/or age-appropriate interventions need to be developed based on the specific profile of caries experience and the associated risk indicators.

This paper has been published under Creative Common Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) allowing to download articles and share them with others as long as they credit the authors and the publisher, but without permission to change them in any way or use them commercially.
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