Title: Sweetened medicines and hospitalization: caries risk factors in children with and without special needs
Abstract: Aim This was to evaluate caries risk factors: medicine consumption level, oral hygiene frequency and oral hygiene habits during hospitalization of children with and without special needs. Methods A cross-sectional study was carried out using a pre-tested form, interviews were conducted with guardians of children with (G1-116) and without special needs (G2-86), from a public day nursery in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). Results Average use of medications was at 21.8 months for G1- 24.5 and G2- 7.2 (Mann-Whitney: p-value = 0.0009). In the total sample, medicines were taken usually at night; 8.4% of parents sweetened them before ingestion and the majority of children did not brush their teeth after taking medicines. More than half (61.9%) had been hospitalized with an average duration of 21.8 days; 83 (66.4%) had had few hospitalizations; G1- 62.8% and G2 -77.4%. Some 81.6% of the sample reported no tooth brushing while in hospital. Statistics The data were entered in the EPI INFO 6.04d program, and the tests used were Fisher Exact, Mann-Whitney, Kruskal-Wallis and Chi-square with a 5% significance level. Conclusions Poor oral hygiene habits when taking medicines and during hospitalizations were observed, mainly among children with special needs.