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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 15  |  Page : 221-228

Prevalence of Early Childhood Caries [Ecc] Among 2-5 Years Old Children Visiting Paediatric Outpatient Department of Government Hospitals in Bangalore City, India

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Background: Early childhood caries [Ecc] is a serious socio-behavioural dental problem that afflicts toddlers and children. Aims: The purpose of the study was to gather data on caries frequency, its distribution and to determine possible association with feeding habits and oral health care practices among this selected population. Methods and Material: A sample of 385 children aged about 2-5 years visiting the government hospitals were randomly selected for the study. An interview with the parents/care giver was conducted using a structured questionnaire by the investigator regarding socio economic status, child's feeding habits, oral hygiene practices along with the oral health knowledge and attitudes. The interview was followed by a clinical oral examination of the child using a sterilized mouth mirror and explorer under artificial illumination. The data on caries was recorded using defs index (A.O Grubell, 1944). The statistical analysis with regard to the association between carious status and single variables was carried out using Chi-square test and Fisher exact tests. Results: The prevalence of Ecc was 77.4% among the study group. The children belonging to the lower socio- economic group showed a higher prevalence of caries experience. Ecc was higher among the children who were breast fed and bottle fed for a longer duration of time. Conclusions: This study has revealed that Ecc is prevalent in considerable percentage of young children between the ages of 2-5 years. The Ecc was more frequently associated with prolonged bottle feeding, lower socio-economic status and increased weaning age. These observations indicate an urgent need to recognize Ecc as a public health problem. The use of fluoride, utilization of preventive dental services and oral health education programs need to be advocated for prevention and control of Ecc.

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