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Br Dent J. 1999 Dec 11;187(11):616-20; discussion 605.

Dental caries status of preschool children in Hong Kong.

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1
Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong, China.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the dental caries status of preschool children in Hong Kong and factors which affect their caries status.

DESIGN:

658 preschool children aged 4 to 6 years from six randomly selected kindergartens in Hong Kong were surveyed in December 1997. A questionnaire to investigate possible explanatory variables for caries status was completed by their parents. Dental caries was diagnosed according to the criteria recommended by the World Health Organization (1997).

RESULT:

Caries experience as measured by the mean number of decayed, missing and filled primary teeth (dmft) of the 4-, 5-, and 6-year-old children were found to be 0.9, 1.8, and 3.3 respectively. Overall, 61% of the children had a zero dmft score. Children born in Mainland China had a higher mean dmft score (4.6) than those born in Hong Kong (1.4). Statistically significant correlations were found between the children's dental caries status and their oral health practices as well as their socio-economic background. Parents' education level, dental knowledge and attitudes were also associated with the children's dental caries experience.

CONCLUSION:

In general, the caries status of Hong Kong Chinese preschool children was similar to that of children in industrialised countries and was better than that of children in the nearby areas. However, special dental programmes should be made available to children from lower socio-economic classes and new immigrants from Mainland China because they are the high risk groups for caries in Hong Kong.

PMID:
16163284
DOI:
10.1038/sj.bdj.4800347a
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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