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J Public Health Dent. 2012 Fall;72(4):269-78. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-7325.2012.00335.x. Epub 2012 Apr 16.

Factors associated with mutans streptococci among young WIC-enrolled children.

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Pediatric Dentistry, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242-1001, USA. Karin



The objective of this study is to assess relationships between the presence or absence of mutans streptococci (MS) and other covariates in children aged 12-49 months.


Data were analyzed using baseline information from 411 children enrolled in the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) who participated in a psychoeducational study in Iowa. Children were assessed for MS using a semiquantitative method (RODAC plates). Dental examinations using d(1) d(2) .(3) criteria and presence of visible plaque on incisors and molars were completed. Mothers completed a series of detailed questionnaires regarding their child's oral health, their socioeconomic status, their child's dietary/oral hygiene habits, and beverage consumption, among other behaviors. Bivariate relationships with the presence of MS were assessed and followed by multivariable modeling using logistic regression (alpha = 0.05).


MS was present in 144 children (35 percent). Bivariate relationships with MS presence were identified for multiple covariates that included demographic characteristics, type of beverage consumption, dental caries, and plaque measures. Multivariate logistic regression modeling suggested that MS presence in children was positively associated with nonwhite race of the child, number of teeth present, presence of cavitated lesions, proportion of teeth with plaque, and lower levels of maternal education.


The presence of MS was associated with greater caries and plaque scores and with low maternal education and nonwhite racial background.

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