A cross-sectional study was performed during 2008, with a sample of 301 two and four year-old children attending their first dental appointment in the Calbuco Hospital. The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of early childhood caries (ECC), severe early childhood caries (S-ECC) and their associated factors. The children´s dental examination and caries diagnosis were carried out using standardized methods (World Health Organization). White spot lesion was recorded as caries. The relationship of socio-demographic factors, dietary habits and oral hygiene was also investigated. The data was analyzed using Fisher’s exact test and logistic regression models. The prevalence of ECC, including white spot lesions was 70% with a severity of 52%. A significant statistical association was found between ECC and variables such as age, rurality, nutritional status, bottle-feeding, bottle-feeding at bedtime and simplified oral hygiene index (OHI-S) (p<0.05). The multivariate study determined that the presence of bottle-feeding at bed time is a protective factor in 2 year-old children (OR = 2.6). The high prevalence of ECC highlighted the need to incorporate educational and preventive programs during the first year of life.
KEY WORDS: early childhood caries, prevalence, epidemiology, risk factors.
How to cite this article
ZAROR, S. C.; PINEDA, T. P. & ORELLANA, C. J. J. Prevalence of early childhood caries and associated factors in 2 and 4 year-old Chilean children. Int. J. Odontostomat., 5(2):1171-177, 2011.