Prevalence of early childhood caries in non-fluoridated rural areas of Chile.

Gerardo Espinoza-Espinoza, Patricia Muñoz-Millán, Carolina Vergara-González, Claudia Atala-Acevedo, Carlos Zaror


Introduction: Early Childhood Caries (ECC) constitutes a serious public health issue worldwide, especially in communities without water fluoridation. Objectives: To assess the prevalence of ECC in children 2 and 3 years old from rural preeschools without access to water fluoridation. Methods: A cross-sectional study to community level was performed during 2012. The eligible population was children 2 and 3 years old from rural preschools in non-fluoridated areas located in the Regions of the Araucanía, Los Ríos and Los Lagos. Four calibrated researchers (ICC= 0.83) determined the prevalence of dental caries on the criteria proposed by the WHO. The data was analyzed using the statisticals, chi-square test, t-test and logistic regression models. Results: The sample was constituted by 587 children of whom 53.32% had 2 years old and 52.47 were girls. The prevalence of ECC was 51.62% with a dmft index average of 2.53. The Region with the most prevalence was Araucania with a 52.79%. The variables that showed association were age, IHO-S and prevision (p<0.05). Conclusion: The prevalence of ECC in non-fluoridated areas is high.


Dental caries; prevalence; epidemiology; preschool.


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