Abstract: Aim Identification of potential carious risk criteria, retrospectively at 2 years of age, for developing carious lesions at 3 years of age. Study design Longitudinal observations from 2 until 3 years of age. Cross-sectional observations of two cohorts of 3- year-olds with different approaches.
Materials and methods The study group consisted of 78 three- year-olds from a previous study at age 2 years. Clinical examination, diet history, questions regarding breastfeeding and salivary sampling for mutans streptococci (MS) were performed at both ages. The previous study on 124 three-year-olds was used as a control group for comparison of the 3-year-olds in the longitudinal study group.
Results The examinations suggested the following risk predictors: carious lesions, frequent intake of selected sugar-containing products, breastfeeding at night and MS, which covered all children with lesions at 3 years of age, resulting in a positive predictive value of 32% and a negative predictive value of 100%. The only statistically significant difference between the two groups of 3-year-olds was the reported intake of sugar-containing items. Statistics Student´s t-test and c2 test, completed by Fischer´s exact test.
Conclusion The combination of the suggested risk criteria was predictive of carious lesions. In spite of individual parental information, new lesions developed after one year. Based on observations, a more structured and monitored preventive approach is suggested.