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Dent J (Basel). 2019 Feb 7;7(1). pii: E16. doi: 10.3390/dj7010016.

Early Childhood Caries in 3 to 5 Year Old Children in Trinidad and Tobago.

Author information

1
School of Dentistry, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad. Tricia.Percival@sta.uwi.edu.
2
School of Dentistry, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad. jdarryledwards@gmail.com.
3
School of Dentistry, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad. Vacion77@gmail.com.
4
School of Dentistry, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad. Bidyadhar.Sa@sta.uwi.edu.
5
Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus BB11000, Barbados. azim.majumder@cavehill.uwi.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This study was done to evaluate the prevalence and contributory factors of early childhood caries (ECC) and severe ECC (S-ECC) among preschool children of Kindergartens and Early Childhood Centres in Trinidad and Tobago.

METHODS:

A cross-sectional study was carried out involving 342 preschool children aged 3 to 5 years. The school staff distributed a structured questionnaire to the children to be completed by the mother. Clinical examinations were conducted by calibrated examiners. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05 in all analyses.

RESULTS:

The prevalence of ECC and S-ECC was 50.3% and 52.3%, respectively. Dietary and oral hygiene factors particularly with bottle feeding and high plaque levels were major contributors to dental caries in this population.

CONCLUSION:

ECC and S-ECC are significant issues that occur in preschool children in Trinidad and Tobago. The development of ECC and S-ECC can be attributed to certain environmental factors like dietary habits and oral hygiene practices. Early dental assessment, broad-based oral health education programmes, increased parental/guardian engagement during oral hygiene practices and greater access to facilities for early childhood caries prevention and management can help alleviate the problems of ECC and S-ECC in this population.

KEYWORDS:

Trinidad and Tobago; early childhood caries; oral health; preschool children

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