Prevalence of Early Childhood Caries and Associated Risk Factors in PreSchool Children of Chennai-A Cross Sectional Study
Early childhood caries is a complex disease involving maxillary primary incisors within a month after eruption and spreads rapidly to involve other primary teeth. It is a serious socio-behavioural and dental problem that afflicts infants and toddlers worldwide. Aim of study is to determine prevalence of early childhood caries and associated risk factors in preschool children. Questionnaire based study. Self-formulated questionnaires were delivered by hand and collected on completion. A Convenience sample of 100 children aged between 8 and 48 months were selected, and data was collected. Data was entered in Microsoft Excel and imported to SPSS and were summarized through bar graphs. Children with maximum caries (23%) were seen in the age group of 40-48 months. Significant increase in the incidence of caries as the age increases (p=0.042) seen. There was a significant increase in the caries in children with low birth weight (p=0.033). A significant increase in caries prevalence was found in children accustomed to the practice of on-demand bottle feeding at night (p=0.001). Caries also increased significantly when milk with sugar was consumed (p=0.001). However, increased frequency of tooth-brushing, parental supervision, significantly decreased caries prevalence(p=0.001). From this study we come to know that the associated risk factors for the prevalence of caries is age, low maternal education, improper feeding, and oral hygiene maintenance habits.