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Oral Health Prev Dent. 2015;13(4):365-75. doi: 10.3290/j.ohpd.a32992.

Experience of Early Childhood Caries May Positively Correlate with Psychomotor Development.



To examine the as yet unknown relationship between dental caries and the child's psychomotor development.


A cross-sectional study was designed by screening the kindergartens from urban areas of two cities in southern Taiwan. Besides the personal, demographic and dietary information, the common measures for caries (dmft) and the amended comprehensive scales (CCDI) for psychomotor development were used to assess their relationship(s). A power analysis showed that 334 subjects would be required. One-way ANOVA vs multiple linear regression analysis were used to compare the differences of variables between gender, age and dmft scales, vs the relationship among all variables tested, respectively.


A total of 433 children completed the study. The results demonstrated that there was a positive relationship between higher (i.e. dmft‚Č•4 and 5) but not lower or extremely high caries experience and aspects of psychomotor development (i.e. personal-social and expressive language) in children aged 4 to 6 years.


The present results are important for paediatric dentists, as they suggest a positive correlation between caries experience (dmft 3 to 6) and psychomotor development in pre-school children and that such a correlation may occur more significantly as an attribute of the most affected teeth (incisors and molars) during the critical stage of personal-social and expressive language development (speech-communication).

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