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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

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Dental Caries Status and Caries Risk Factors in Students Ages 12–14 Years in Zhejiang, China

Jinghao Hu, Wen Jiang, Xiaolong Lin, Haihua Zhu, Na Zhou, Yadong Chen, Wenzhi Wu, Denghui Zhang, Hui Chen

(Department of Conservative Dentistry and Periodontics, Stomatology Hospital Affiliated to Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24: CLR3670-3678

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.907325

BACKGROUND: An accurate and valid caries prevention policy is absent in Zhejiang because of insufficient data. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate oral health status and related risk factors in 12- to 14-year-old students in Zhejiang, China.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Using multi-stage, stratified, random sampling, we recruited a total of 4860 students aged 12 to 14 years old from 6 regions in Zhejiang in this cross-sectional study. Dental caries was measured using the Decayed, Missing and Filled Teeth (DMFT) index and the Significant Caries Index (SiC). Information concerning family background and relevant behaviors was collected in a structured questionnaire. Logistic regression analysis was used to study risk factors related to dental caries.
RESULTS: The overall prevalence of dental caries was 44% and the mean DMFT and SiC scores were 1.14 and 3.11, respectively. Female students had a higher level of dental caries than male students (P<0.01). The annual increase in caries prevalence was 3% with increasing age, and the DMFT score was 0.15. The results of logistic regression analysis showed that female sex, older age, snacks consumption once or more per day, fair or poor self-assessment of dental health, toothache experience, and dental visits were the most significant risk factors for dental caries, with odds ratios ranging from 1.24 to 2.25 (P<0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of dental caries in 12- to 14-year-old students in Zhejiang was low, with a tendency to increase compared with previous oral surveys. Female sex, older age, increased sugar intake, poor oral health self-assessment, and bad dental experience were the most important factors increasing dental caries risks.

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