Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2016 Apr;44(2):154-61. doi: 10.1111/cdoe.12200. Epub 2015 Nov 6.

Factors associated with dental caries in a group of American Indian children at age 36 months.

Author information

  • 1Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA.
  • 2Dows Institute for Dental Research, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA.
  • 3Dental Public Health Consultant, Morro Bay, CA, USA.
  • 4Indian Health Service, Rapid City, SD, USA.



Early childhood caries (ECC) is rampant among American Indian children, but there has been relatively little study of this problem. This article reports on risk factors for caries for a group of American Indian children at age 36 months as part of a longitudinal study.


Pregnant women from a Northern Plains Tribal community were recruited to participate in a longitudinal study of caries and caries risk factors. Standardized dental examinations were completed on children, and questionnaires were completed by mothers at baseline and when children were 4, 8, 12, 16, 22, 28, and 36 months of age. Examinations were surface-specific for dental caries, and the questionnaires collected data on demographic, dietary, and behavioral factors. Nonparametric bivariate tests and logistic regression models were used to identify risk factors for caries at 36 months, and negative binomial regression was used to identify factors related to caries severity (dmf counts).


Among the 232 children, and caries prevalence for cavitated lesions was 80%, with an additional 15% having only noncavitated lesions. The mean dmfs was 9.6, and of the total dmfs, nearly 62% of affected surfaces were decayed, 31% were missing, and 7% were filled. Logistic regression identified higher added-sugar beverage consumption, younger maternal age at baseline, higher maternal DMFS at baseline, and greater number of people in the household as significant (P < 0.05) risk factors. Negative binomial regression found that only maternal DMFS was associated with child dmf counts.


By the age of 36 months, dental caries is nearly universal in this population of American Indian children. Caries risk factors included sugared beverage consumption, greater household size, and maternal factors, but further analyses are needed to better understand caries in this population.


children; dental caries; oral health disparities; risk factors

[Available on 2017-04-01]
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Support Center