Title: Dental caries among 12-year-old children in northern Poland between 1987 and 2003
Abstract: Aim In 1987, 1995 and 2003 dental surveys were carried out in the Gdansk region of Poland investigating the prevalence of dental caries in 12-year-old school children. Materials and methods Sampling and examination were performed according to WHO standards. A sample of 180 children in each year were selected from different living environments: a large city, a small town and a rural area. Results The caries prevalence (ratio of caries-free children) and caries experience (mean DMFT scores) changed significantly in some groups in the period from 1987-2003. However, there was no change in caries experience in children living in a large city. The average DMFT score of all 12-year-olds dropped from 4.07 in 1987 to 3.20 in 2003. Conclusion The remarkable improvement of dental health may be explained by the oral health education and increased availability of fluoridated toothpaste.