White spots caries in Mexican-American toddlers and parental preference for various strategies

ASDC J Dent Child. 1994 Sep-Dec;61(5-6):342-6.


One hundred and thirty Mexican-American children ages nine to thirty-four months (Mean = 17.1 months), and their parents/caretakers were studied at a farmworkers clinic in rural Washington. Parents/caretakers participated in a bilingual interview; then each child received a dental examination, and a cotton swab was used to collect plaque for a caries activity test (Cariostat). Results showed that 7 percent had at least one maxillary incisor decayed and 30.4 percent had at least one incisor with a white spot lesion. The Cariostat was related to dental age, but not to disease. Forty percent of the parents/caretakers whose children had disease were aware of the problem. Immediate substitution of cup for bottle and the elimination of extra nighttime feedings were the least likely interventions endorsed by the subjects. Other interventions, including periodic visits for fluoride applications were much more likely.

MeSH terms

  • Age Determination by Teeth
  • Attitude to Health
  • Bottle Feeding
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dental Caries / prevention & control*
  • Dental Caries Activity Tests
  • Dental Plaque / microbiology
  • Fluorides / administration & dosage
  • Fluorides / therapeutic use
  • Fluorides, Topical / administration & dosage
  • Fluorides, Topical / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Incisor
  • Infant
  • Infant Food
  • Mexican Americans*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Tooth, Deciduous
  • Washington
  • Weaning


  • Fluorides, Topical
  • Fluorides