Determinants of oral health care related to the frequency and severity of dental caries in preschool children

Juan Manuel Guizar Mendoza, Christian Andrea López Ayuso, Norma Amador Licona, Odette Lozano Palomino, Carlos Alberto García Gutiérrez


Introduction: Dental caries in children is a public health problem of multifactorial origin. Oral hygiene habits are acquired in the first years of life, so the responsible caregiver plays an important role.

Objective: To identify the determinants of the responsible caregiver and its relationship with the oral and dental health of the preschool children.

Material and methods: We carried out a comparative cross-sectional study in 292 preschool children between 3 and 6 years old, including their respective responsible caregiver in areas of medium and low socioeconomic level in León, Mexico. A questionnaire was applied to those responsible caregivers to identify their educational, socioeconomic level, level of knowledge about oral health care, attitudes, self-efficacy, skills, psychometric characteristics and the cariogenicity category of the preschool diet. The biofilm and CPOD index were measured to the responsible caregivers. To the children, the ceo and ICDAS indexes, biofilm, and the risk level for caries were evaluated.

Results: In 87% of the binomials, the responsible caregiver was the mother, with an average age of 31 years and high school education level as the most frequent in 33%. In preschool children the ceo index showed the median of 14 [interquartile range (RIC) 8 and 20]. The ICDAS index showed a median of 3 (RIC 2 and 4). The average overall biofilm was 89% ± 19, mainly due to medium mature plaque in 29% of cases. In 146 (50%), the consumption of cariogenic diet was identified. The factors related to the frequency of caries in preschool children were negatively the age of the responsible caregiver, their attitude, knowledge, self-efficacy and consumption of a cariogenic diet (R2 = 0.13, p <0.0001 for the model). For the intensity of caries, the factors related negatively were the education level of the responsible caregiver, self-efficacy and the granting of a cariogenic diet, as well as the higher age of the preschool children (R2 = 0.075, p = 0.0005 for the model).


self-efficacy; knowledges; cariogenic diet; ICDAS; responsible caregiver; oral health; dental caries; preschool children; oral hygiene; CPOD index


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