Prevalence and sociobehavioural determinants of early childhood caries among 5-year-old Portuguese children: a longitudinal study


Purpose To assess the prevalence of early childhood caries (ECC) and associated factors among a 5-year-old cohort. Methods An observational longitudinal study was conducted with a sample of 142 preschoolers. A calibrated dentist performed intraoral examinations following International Caries Detection and Assessment System (ICDAS-II) criteria at baseline and after 6 months. A questionnaire on sociodemographic variables and oral health-related behaviours was answered by caregivers. Statistical analysis included descriptive statistics and computation of confidence intervals (95% confidence level). Results Baseline prevalence of ECC and severe ECC (S-ECC) were 40.1% and 11.3%, respectively. After 6 months ECC and S-ECC prevalence rates were 46.5%, and 13.2%, respectively. At both evaluations most caries lesions were untreated. Parental education and occupation were significantly associated with ECC. Behaviour variables found to be significantly associated with the disease comprised: establishing toothbrushing habits before the first year, toothbrushing twice daily and with parental assistance, frequency of dental visits, age at first dental visits, daily ingestion of sweets and number of daily meals. Conclusion The prevalence of ECC was very high, with most of the lesions left untreated. ECC experience was associated with participants' socioeconomic background and several of the surveyed oral health-related behaviour variables.




Dentistry, Oral Surgery & Medicine


Pereira, JL; Caramelo, F; Soares, AD; Cunha, B; Gil, AM; Costa, AL

nossos autores


This work was also developed within the scope of the project CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials, UIDB/50011/2020 & UIDP/50011/2020, financed by national funds through the FCT/MEC and when appropriate co-financed by FEDER under the PT2020 Partnership Agreement.

Partilhe este projeto

Publicações similares

Usamos cookies para atividades de marketing e para lhe oferecer uma melhor experiência de navegação. Ao clicar em “Aceitar Cookies” você concorda com nossa política de cookies. Leia sobre como usamos cookies clicando em "Política de Privacidade e Cookies".