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, 48 (1), 27-33

Social and Behavioural Determinants of Early Childhood Caries

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Social and Behavioural Determinants of Early Childhood Caries

K B Hallett et al. Aust Dent J.

Abstract

Background: To investigate the association between selected social and behavioural (infant feeding and preventive dental practices) variables and the presence of early childhood caries in preschool children within the north Brisbane region.

Methods: A cross sectional sample of 2515 children aged four to five years were examined in a preschool setting using prevalence (percentage with caries) and severity (dmft) indices. A self-administered questionnaire obtained information regarding selected social and behavioural variables. The data were modelled using multiple logistic regression analysis at the 5 per cent level of significance.

Results: The final explanatory model for caries presence in four to five year old children included the variables breast feeding from three to six months of age (OR=0.7, CI=0.5, 1.0), sleeping with the bottle (OR=1.9, CI=1.5, 2.4), sipping from the bottle (OR=1.6, CI=1.2, 2.0), ethnicity other than Caucasian (OR=1.9, CI=1.4, 2.5), annual family income dollars 20,000-dollars 35,000 (OR=1.7, CI=1.3, 2.3) and annual family income less than dollars 20,000 (OR=2.1, CI=1.5, 2.8).

Conclusions: A statistical model for early childhood caries in preschool children within the north Brisbane region has been constructed using selected social and behavioural determinants. Epidemiological data can be used for improved public oral health service planning and resource allocation within the region.

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