March 2009

Volume 26, Issue 1

Dental caries prevalence and distribution among preschoolers in Singapore

Authors: Y. Xu H.B. Hwarng D. Koh T. Loh C.Y.S. Hsu XL. Gao
doi: 10.1922/CDH_2267Hsu06


Objective: To describe the prevalence, severity and distribution of dental caries among preschoolers in Singapore. Basic research design: population-based, cross-sectional study. Setting: 13 randomly selected People’s Action Party Community Foundation (PCF) Education Centers, the main provider of preschool education in Singapore. Participants: 1,782 children aged 3-6 years. Main outcome measures: The caries status was evaluated by using WHO examination procedures and diagnostic criteria. Results: About 40% children (26%, 37%, and 49% for 3-4, 4-5, and 5-6 year-olds, respectively) were affected by caries. The mean (SD) deft and defs were 1.54 (2.75) and 3.30 (7.49), respectively. About 90% of the affected teeth were decayed teeth. A significantly skewed distribution of caries lesions was revealed, indicating that 16% children with high caries activity (deft≥4) were carrying 78% lesions. Rampant caries, defined as caries affecting the smooth surfaces of two or more maxillary incisors, was found in 16.5% of children. About 61% of affected surfaces were smooth surfaces. Malays and boys tended to have more rampant caries. Higher caries severity and treatment need were found among Malays and children in the low socio-economic group. Conclusions: Caries is a severe oral health problem for Singaporean preschoolers, especially in the Malay community and among children with low economic status. Key words: Dental caries, preschoolers, prevalence, Singapore

£10 single article

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