To examine the prevalence and severity of caries and malocclusions in primary and permanent dentition and to investigate the association between disease distribution and socio-demographic conditions, oral hygiene and dietary habits of a population of school-children in three districts of Belo Horizonte, Brazil in 2011. To verify also if there was a decrease of caries after the installation of two dental offices in a public school 10 years priors.


The study involved 753 school-children, aged 3-15 years, of two socio-economic levels: a low level in a public school and in a public kindergarten, and high level in a private school. Information on socio-demographic conditions, oral hygiene and dietary habits was collected by questionnaires completed by the parents of the children. Clinical examinations were carried out by one examiner using DMFT indices and WHO criteria.


The mean values dmft in children age 6 years, and DMFT at 12 years (Table 1), were very similar between the first (dmft 1.53 – DMFT 0.56) and the second school (dmft 1.53 – DMFT 0.28). However, dmft was twice as high at age 6 years in the public kindergarten children (dmft 3.1, p = 0.0001). After 10 years of clinical activity, caries experience decreased both in terms of dmft (p=0.02) and DMFT (p=0.0001) in the same public school (Table 2). Delaying the age in which children started to brush their teeth (p= 0.02), unemployed fathers at the time child of birth (p=0.01), and dietary habits (p=0.003) were significantly associated with the presence of caries.


These data show that the oral health monitoring of schoolchildren was a significant factor that reduce dental caries, even in children coming from poor families. Results from questionnaires underline the importance of preventive programs reducing caries in children whose fathers are unemployed and the association of oral hygiene and alimentary habits educational programs.


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*Dalla tesi è stato ricavato un articolo inviato a una rivista scientifica impattata in letteratura, ed è stata presentata come poster alla General Session & Exhibition in Seattle, Washington, USA nel Marzo 2013 organizzata da IADR.

 Università di Bologna