Factors predisposing to early childhood caries in pre-school children from two kindergartens in Zagreb, Croatia

The aim of the study was to assess the factors predisposing to early childhood caries (ECC) in pre-school children in the city of Zagreb, Croatia. The study included 290 children (154 boys and 136 girls) aged between 3 to 5 years, submitted to clinical examination of caries status and survey of parental baby-feeding habits. The overall prevalence of ECC was 30% (25% in girls, and 48% in boys). The study of risk factors was designed as a classic case-control study. The mean value of dmfs index among the children with ECC amounted to 8.6, in comparison to 5.2 in the control group. In contrast to bottle-feeding, night consumption of sweet beverages beyond the first 24 months and the lack of introduction of teeth-brushing habit after the first 24 months were found to be significant risk factors for ECC. The study revealed the importance of early introduction of tooth brushing and giving up the nightly consumption of sweet beverages in the prevention of ECC.
Category: Clinical observations - professional paper
Volume: Vol. 45, No 3, july - september 2001
Authors: O. Lulić-Dukić, H. Jurić, W. Dukić, D. Glavina
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