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Comparative Study
, 74 (3), 178-85

Demographic Factors and Dental Health of Swedish Children and Adolescents

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Comparative Study

Demographic Factors and Dental Health of Swedish Children and Adolescents

Ann-Catrin André Kramer et al. Acta Odontol Scand.

Abstract

Objective: To investigate the dental health of Swedish children and adolescents with reference to age, gender and residence.

Material and methods: Electronic dental records from 300,988 3-19-year-olds in one Swedish region were derived in a cross-sectional study in years 2007-2009. The DMFT system was used. Age was categorized into 3-6/7-9/10-12/13-15/16-17/18-19-year-olds and residence into 'metropolitan', 'urban' and 'rural' areas. ANOVA, generalized linear regression models and Fisher's exact test were used.

Results: Among 7-9-year-old children, nine out of 10 were free from fillings and manifest caries, while for 18-19-year-olds; this proportion was one third. Girls (18-19-year-olds) had a significantly lower risk of caries compared to boys of the same age, RR for the DT index = 0.83 (95% CI = 0.81-0.85). This pattern was reversed in 7-12-year-old children. Children and adolescents in metropolitan and urban areas had significantly more caries than subjects in rural areas, for instance the RR for the DT index in metropolitan 7-9-year-olds was 2.26 (95% CI = 2.11-2.42) compared to their rural counterparts.

Conclusions: In the permanent dentition, the overall pattern revealed that girls ≤ 12 years had a higher risk of caries, while adolescent girls had a lower risk of caries, both compared with boys of corresponding ages. Living in an urban or metropolitan area entailed a higher risk of caries than living in a rural area. A greater occurrence of dental caries in adolescents than in children was confirmed. The findings should have implications for planning and evaluation of oral health promotion and disease prevention activities.

Keywords: Age distribution; dental caries; epidemiology; residence characteristics; sex.

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