Title: Prevalence and distribution of caries in Turkish kindergarten children
Abstract: Aim The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence and distribution of caries in a group of preschool children attending kindergarten in Ankara, Turkey. Method The sample comprised 633 children, 210 aged 3-4 years and 423 aged 5-6 years. Clinical examinations were carried out in a room with natural daylight according to WHO criteria. Data was collected using a questionnaire from the parents and the relationship between dmfs values and socioeconomic status of parents; frequency of tooth brushing and attending a dentist was evaluated. Results Sixty percent of 3-to 4 year olds and 37% of 5-to 6 year-olds were caries-free. The mean dmfs value was 1.44 and 3.99 for 3-4 ages and 5-6 ages, respectively. Caries were mainly located in the occlusal surfaces. There were no significant differences between the dmfs values of socioeconomic status subgroups and neither between the values of frequency of tooth brushing subgroups (p > 0.05). The mean dmfs of children attending a dentist was significantly lower than the dmfs of children that had never gone to a dentist (p<0.05). Conclusion The results illustrate the dental professionalís responsibilities to induce parents to establish periodic professional dental cares habit in their children.