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Int J Paediatr Dent. 2016 May;26(3):173-83. doi: 10.1111/ipd.12169. Epub 2015 May 13.

Natural history of dental caries in very young Australian children.

Author information

1
Department of Dentistry and Oral Health, La Trobe Rural Health School, La Trobe University, Bendigo, Vic., Australia.
2
Melbourne School of Population & Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Vic., Australia.
3
Jack Brockhoff Child Health & Wellbeing Program, Melbourne School of Population & Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Carlton, Vic., Australia.
4
Dental Health Services Victoria, Carlton, Vic., Australia.
5
Melbourne Dental School, University of Melbourne, Carlton, Vic., Australia.
6
Department of Dentistry and Oral Health, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Vic., Australia.
7
Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre, Melbourne Dental School, The University of Melbourne, Carlton, Vic., Australia.
8
Early Life Epigenetics Group, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Childrens Hospital, Parkville, Vic., Australia.
9
Centre for Applied Oral Health Research, Dental Health Services Victoria, Carlton, Vic., Australia.
10
Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Melbourne School of Population & Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Carlton, Vic., Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Whilst the global burden of caries is increasing, the trajectory of decay in young children and the point at which prevention should occur has not been well established.

AIM:

To identify the 'natural history' of dental caries in early childhood.

DESIGN:

A birth cohort study was established with 467 mother/child dyads followed at 1, 6, 12, 18, and 36 months of age. Parent-completed surveys captured demographic, social, and behavioural data, and oral examinations provided clinical and data.

RESULTS:

Eight per cent of children (95% confidence interval (CI): 5-12%) at 18 months and 23% (95% CI: 18-28%) at 36 months experienced decay. Interesting lesion behaviour was found between 18 and 36 months, with rapid development of new lesions on sound teeth (70% of teeth, 95% CI: 63-76%) and regression of many lesions from non-cavitated lesions to sound (23% of teeth, 95% CI: 17-30%). Significant associations were found between soft drink consumption and lesion progression.

CONCLUSIONS:

Findings suggest optimal time periods for screening and prevention of a disease which significantly impacts multiple health and well-being outcomes across the life course.

PMID:
25967851
PMCID:
PMC5347873
DOI:
10.1111/ipd.12169
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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