Preschool caries as an indicator of future caries: a longitudinal study

Pediatr Dent. 2003 Mar-Apr;25(2):114-8.


Purpose: This study was performed to compare the increment of carious surfaces per year in preschool-age children with early childhood caries (ECC), children with posterior caries only, and caries-free children after 7 to 10 years.

Methods: One hundred and fifty files of children were included in the study. The first examination referred to the ages of 3 to 5 years (T1), and follow-up visits took place after at least 7 years (T2). The number of carious surfaces was recorded. The study population was divided into 3 groups: (1) caries free children (CF), (2) children with ECC, and (3) children with posterior caries only (PC). There were 50 patients in each group.

Results: Children with ECC had 1.15+/-0.97 new affected surfaces per year, while caries-free children had an increment per year of 0.41+/-0.60, and children with posterior caries only showed an increment per year of 0.74+/-0.64. A statistically significant difference was found between the ECC and caries-free groups, and between the ECC and posterior caries groups. The high increment in the ECC group is influenced by the high number of affected surfaces in the primary teeth,

Conclusions: Children with ECC may have a high risk to develop future carious lesions compared with caries-free children. Children with posterior caries demonstrate less carious lesions by the age of 12 years, however, they resemble ECC children when they reach their mid-teens.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Bottle Feeding / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dental Caries / epidemiology*
  • Dental Caries / etiology
  • Dental Caries Susceptibility
  • Dentition, Permanent
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Molar
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Tooth, Deciduous