Title: Evaluation of certain risk factors for Early Childhood Caries
Abstract: Aim Early childhood caries (ECC) is a relatively new term used to describe any stage of caries lesion in any primary tooth surface in a child under 6 years of age. The purpose of this study was to identify certain factors that influence the development of ECC among children in Samsun, Turkey.
Methods Data were collected for 226 children (108 girls, 118 boys) aged 3-6 years. Questionnaires were administered to the mothers of participating children to obtain information on infant feeding habits and the motherís level of education and oral health knowledge. Clinical diagnoses of ECC were based on intraoral examinations conducted using a flashlight, disposable mirror and wooden tongue depressor.
Results ECC was diagnosed in 46.9% of children. The mean dmf-t was 2.87. Significant associations were found between ECC prevalence and bottle feeding while sleeping and between ECC and the motherís level of education (p<0.05). The caries rate increased with the addition of sugar-containing substances to bottles; however, the increase was not statistically significant (p>0.05). There were no correlations observed between ECC and the motherís oral health knowledge or attitude (p>0.05).
Conclusion Within the limitation of this study, among the various factors investigated, infant feeding habits and the motherís level of education were found to have significant effects on the development of ECC.