Objective: To describe the prevalence of dental erosion and associated factors in preschool children in Guangxi and Hubei provinces of China.
Methods: Dental examinations were carried out on 1949 children aged 3-5 years. Measurement of erosion was confined to primary maxillary incisors. The erosion index used was based upon the 1993 UK National Survey of Children's Dental Health. The children's general information as well as social background and dietary habits were collected based on a structured questionnaire.
Results: A total of 112 children (5.7%) showed erosion on their maxillary incisors. Ninety-five (4.9%) was scored as being confined to enamel and 17 (0.9%) as erosion extending into dentine or pulp. There was a positive association between erosion and social class in terms of parental education. A significantly higher prevalence of erosion was observed in children whose parents had post-secondary education than those whose parents had secondary or lower level of education. There was also a correlation between the presence of dental erosion and intake of fruit drink from a feeding bottle or consumption of fruit drinks at bedtime.
Conclusion: Erosion is not a serious problem for dental heath in Chinese preschool children. The prevalence of erosion is associated with social and dietary factors in this sample of children.