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Swed Dent J. 1999;23(1):17-25.

Oral health in pre-school children living in Sweden. Part III--A longitudinal study. Risk analyses based on caries prevalence at 3 years of age and immigrant status.

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Department of Paediatric Dentistry, Institute for Postgraduate Dental Education, Jönköping, Sweden.


A decreasing proportion of children require operative treatment each year and an increasing proportion of children will at recall require no operative care. This would provide resources to give individualised prevention to children at risk for developing new carious lesions. From 3 years of age, however, the prevalence of caries increases up to the age when the primary dentition exfoliates, even though the children attend regular dental service programmes yearly, and for some children dental caries remains a significant problem. The purpose of the present study was to describe the dental health of a group of 6-year-old children living in Sweden, with special reference to caries prevalence at 3 years of age and to immigrant status. At 6 years of age, 45% of the children were free of initial and manifest carious lesions in the primary cuspids and molars. The mean caries increment between 3 and 6 years was 0.9 tooth surfaces for children who were caries free at 3 years of age compared to 4.5 tooth surfaces for children with manifest carious lesions at the same age. The mean caries increment from 3 to 6 years was 1.3 in the non-immigrant group and 3.6 in the immigrant group. For the majority of the children in this study, current preventive dental care seems sufficient. However, for about one-third of the children (children with carious lesions at 3 years of age and/or immigrant status), current caries preventive programme used in the Public Dental Service are inadequate.

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