Prevalence and Risk Factors of Dental Caries in Infants and Toddlers in Belarus

Natallia Shakavets, Tamara Terekhova
Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Belarusian State Medical University, Minsk, Belarus

Background: The global epidemiology of ECC demonstrated the prevalence of caries in pre-school children in both developed and developing countries. The aim of this study was to investigate the dental caries prevalence among Belarusian infants and toddlers and the most significant risk factors of the disease.

Methods: A total of 800 children at the age of 6-36 months in randomly selected pediatric clinics in Minsk were surveyed by one dentist to assess dental caries, using d1-4mft index. Parents were suggested to fill in the questionnaires about children oral hygiene and feeding practice. Logistic regression was used to reveal the strongest ECC predictors and create the model of prediction. For this purpose 74 risk factors were analized. Ethical approval was obtained.

Results: Among the examined children 383 (47.9%) were girls and 417 (52.1%) boys. 249 children had dental caries (31.1%). The prevalence increased from 6.7% in 1 year olds to 63.5% in 3 year olds. Index d1-4mft was 1.7 (2.9), d1-4mfs was 2.72 (5.27). The mean d1 was 0.42 (1.17), d2 - 0.33 (1.02), d3 – 0.85 (1.38), d4 – 0.04 (0.34), m – 0.04 (0.36), f – 0.02 (0.28). The dentin caries was diagnosed more often and almost all caries lesions in infants and toddlers were untreated. Caries lesions were diagnosed more often on central upper incisors (33.6%), lateral upper incisors (37.6%) and first upper molars (29.3%). The mother’s educational level had influence on the prevalence of ECC (χ2 =19.8, р<0.001). The strongest predictors of ECC were frequency of night feeding during 2-3 last months (p<0.000), night bottle feeding (p=0.003) and visible plaque on teeth (p=0.0006).

Conclusion: ECC is a major problem from a population health perspective but it is predictable and preventable. The rational feeding and early beginning of oral hygiene are the main preventive measures for young children.

Natallia Shakavets