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Indian J Dent Res. 2018 Sep-Oct;29(5):568-574. doi: 10.4103/ijdr.IJDR_158_17.

Sociodemographic and behavioral factors associated with early childhood caries among preschool children of Western Maharashtra.

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Department of Public Health Dentistry, School of Dental Sciences, Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences, Deemed University, Karad, Maharashtra, India.
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Thaimoogambika Dental College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.



Early childhood caries is a preventable disease of multifactorial etiology and is a public health problem affecting majority of the preschool-age children of the country. If left untreated, it has many social, economic, and nutritional implications and affects the quality of life of the affected child.


This cross-sectional study was conducted among 200 preschool children of Karad city, western Maharashtra, to assess the prevalence of dental caries among the preschool children and to assess the factors affecting the development of dental caries. Various child-level, parent-level, attitudinal- and family-level factors, and clinical variables were evaluated.


High prevalence of caries of 87.5% was observed in the study sample. Bivariate analysis showed a significant association of age of child (P < 0.001), age of mother at birth (P = 0.041), feeding during 1st year (P = 0.034), snacking habits (P = 0.001), and brushing frequency (P = 0.03) with dental caries. On multivariate analysis, the factors of snacking habits (P = 0.003) and age of child (P = 0.002) remained significantly correlated with dental caries.


There was a strong and consistent relation of the snacking habits with the prevalence of dental caries among the preschool children of Karad city. There is a need to sensitize the caregivers regarding the role of frequent snacking in dental caries.


Early childhood caries; preschool children; secondary caregivers

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