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J Public Health Dent. 2006 Summer;66(3):169-73.

Assessment of dental caries predictors in a seven-year longitudinal study.

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Department of Community Dentistry, School of Dentistry of Piracicaba - UNICAMP (State University of Campinas), SP, Brazil.



To identify, in a group of 6-8-year-old schoolchildren, risk factors for dental caries increment in permanent dentition.


Two hundred and six children from three different schools in Piracicaba, Brazil, were examined at baseline and after 7 years by the same two calibrated dentists. Data on dental caries (dmfs, DMFS, presence of initial lesions), fluorosis, oral hygiene and presence of sealant were collected at the clinical examination that was performed in an outdoor setting, under natural light, using a dental mirror and probe following the WHO recommendations. Information on socioeconomic level, fluoride usage, dental service utilization, dietary and oral hygiene habits was also obtained at baseline in a semi-structured questionnaire sent to the parents. The dependent variable was the 7-year DMFS increment. A univariate analysis was performed to test the association of independent variables in caries increment. Then a logistic regression model was used to estimate the adjusted Odds Ratio for caries increment.


Clinical (dmfs, DMFS) and non-clinical variables (daily toothbrushing, use of preventive topical methods, parents' educational level) were entered in the multiple logistic regression analysis. The prediction model included the clinical and socioeconomic variables, DMFS, dmfs and mother's educational level. The best caries predictor was the dmfs variable.


Caries experience and mother's educational level were predictors of caries increment in permanent dentition.

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