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, 14 (1), 34-40

Caries Prevalence and Severity in Urban Fijian School Children


Caries Prevalence and Severity in Urban Fijian School Children

L M Jamieson et al. Int J Paediatr Dent.


Objectives: To determine the prevalence and severity of dental caries in a sample of urban Fijian school children.

Design: Cross-sectional.

Sample and methods: Children aged between 6 and 8 years who attended one of four primary schools in different localities of Suva completed self-report questionnaires and were examined for dental caries.

Results: A total of 704 children (response rate = 72.4%) returned questionnaires and were examined dentally. The prevalence of dental caries in the primary dentition was 87.6% and in the permanent dentition, 46.7%. The mean dfs and mean DFS were 8.43 (SD 7.82) and 2.38 (SD 1.37), respectively. High caries prevalence and severity were associated with infrequent brushing, snacking on sugar-containing foods, having seen a dentist before, and having last visited a dentist because of pain.

Conclusions: The caries prevalence of the sample was comparable with findings from a national oral health survey conducted in 1985/86, but the caries severity was greater. As in other developing countries, this may be due to an increased availability of refined sugar products without a concurrent rise in oral health awareness. The study findings contribute to the overall picture of Fijian school children's dental health.

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