European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 205–210 | Cite as

Severe early childhood caries and behavioural risk indicators among young children in Ajman, United Arab Emirates

  • R. HashimEmail author
  • S. Williams
  • W. M. Thomson


AIM: To estimate the prevalence of severe early childhood caries (s-ECC) in the primary dentition of young children in Ajman, UAE, and investigate its association with child and family characteristics, dietary habits, oral hygiene practices and dental services utilisation. METHODS: A one-stage cluster sample was used to randomly select children aged five or six years old who were enrolled in public or private schools in Ajman, UAE. Clinical examinations for caries were conducted by a single examiner using WHO criteria. Parents completed questionnaires seeking information on child and family characteristics, dietary habits, oral hygiene, and dental service utilisation. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to identify risk markers and risk indicators for s-ECC experience. RESULTS: The total number of children sampled was 1297. Dental examination and questionnaire data were obtained for 1036 (79.9%), of whom 50.0% were female. The overall prevalence of s-ECC was 31.1% (95% CI, 23.6, 38.9). The prevalence of s-ECC was higher among children of low-income families, those who had a high snack consumption level, and those who utilised dental services only when they had a problem. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of s-ECC in young children in Ajman is high, and socio-economic characteristics, dietary habits, and dental utilisation are important determinants of their dental caries experience. There is an urgent need for oral health programs targeted at the treatment and underlying causes of dental caries in these children.


Severe early childhood caries children UAE 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. AAPD American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Reference manual, Policy on ECC Classification and preventive strategies. 2010–2011 vol.32, p41–44.Google Scholar
  2. AI-Hossani E, Rugg-Gunn A. Combination of low parental educational attainment and high parental income related to high caries experience in pre-school children in Abu Dhabi. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 1998; 26: 31–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Al-Malik Ml, Holt RD, Bedi R. The relationship between erosion, caries and rampant caries and dietary habits in preschool children in Saudi Arabia. Int J Paediatr Dent 2001; 11:430–439.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Al-Mohammadi SM, Rugg-Gunn AJ, Butler TJ. Caries prevalence in boys aged 2, 4 and 6 years according to socio-economic status in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 1997; 25:184–186.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Al-Mughery AS, Attwood D, Blinkhorn A. Dental health of 5 year-old children in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 1991; 19:308–309.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fayle SA, Welbury RR, Roberts JF. British Society of Paediatric Dentistry. A policy document on management of caries in the primary dentition. Int J Paediatr Dent 2001; 11:153–157.Google Scholar
  7. Hamdan MAM Rock WP. Dental caries experience in Jordanian and English school children. Community Dent Health 1993; 10:151–157.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Harrison RL, Wong T, Ewan C et al. Feeding practices and dental caries in an urban Canadian population of Vietnamese preschool children. J Dent Children 1997; 64:112–117.Google Scholar
  9. Hashim R, Williams S, Thomson WM. Diet and caries experience among preschool children in Ajman, United Arab Emirates. Eur J Oral Sci 2009; 117: 734–740.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Horowitz HS. Decision-making for national programs of community fluoride use. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2000; 28: 321–329.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ismail AI, Lim S, Sohn W et al. Determinants of early childhood caries in lowincome African American young children. Pediatr Dent 2008; 30:289–96.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Locker D. Response and non-response bias in oral health surveys. J Public Health Dent 2000; 60:72–81.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lopez D-VL, Velazquez-Quintana Y, Weinstein P et al. Early childhood caries and risk factors in rural Puerto Rican children. J Dent Children 1998; 65:132–135.Google Scholar
  14. Musaiger AO. Food habits of mothers and children in two regions of Oman. Nutr Health 1996; 11:29–48.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Naqvi A, Othman SA, Thabit MG. Baseline oral conditions in preschool children in Al-Ain Medical District. Dental News. 1999; 6:17–21.Google Scholar
  16. O’Brien M. Children’s dental health in the United Kingdom 1993. Office of Population Censuses and Survey. London: HMSO; 1994.Google Scholar
  17. Osman NA, El-Sabban FF. Infant-feeding practices in Al-Ain, UAE. East Mediterr Health J. 1999; 5:103–110.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Peressini S, Leake JL, Mayhall JT et al. Prevelance of early childhood caries among First nations children, District of Manitoulin, Ontario. Int J Paediatr Dent 2004; 14:101–110.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Plutzer K, Spencer AJ. Efficacy of an oral health promotion intervention in the prevention of early childhood caries. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2008; 36:335–346.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Postma TC, Ayo-Yusuf OA, van Wyk PJ. Socio-demographic correlates of early childhood caries prevalence and severity in a developing country-South Africa. Int Dent J 2008; 58:91–7.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Rajab LD, Hamdan MAM. Early childhood caries and risk factors in Jordan. Community Dent Health 2002; 19:224–229.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Sayegh A, Dini EL, Holt RD et al. Caries prevalence and patterns and their relationship to social class, infant feeding and oral hygiene in 4–5-year-old children in Amman, Jordan. Community Dent Health 2002a; 19:144–151.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Sayegh A, Dini EL, Holt RD et al. Food and drink consumption, sociodemo-graphic factors and dental caries in 4–5 year-old children in Amman, Jordan. Br Dent J 2002b; 193:37–42.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Sayegh A, Dini EL, Holt RD et al. Oral health, sociodemographic factors, dietary and oral hygiene practices in Jordanian children. J Dent 2005; 33:379–388.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Thomson WM, Poulton R, Milne BJ et al. Socio-economic inequalities in oral health in childhood and adulthood in a birth cohort. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2004; 32: 345–353.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Traebert J, Guimarães Ldo A, Durante EZ et al. Low maternal schooling and severity of dental caries in Brazilian preschool children. Oral Health Prev Dent 2009; 7:39–45.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Watt RG. From victim blaming to upstream action: tackling the social determinants of oral health inequalities. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2007, 35:1–11.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Wong MCM, Lo ECM, Schwarz E et al. Oral health status and oral health behaviors in Chinese children. J Dent Res 2001; 80:1459–1465.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. World Health Organisation. Oral Health Surveys. Basic Methods. 4th ed. Geneva: World Health Organisation; 1997.Google Scholar
  30. Wyne AH, Khan N. Use of sweet snacks, soft drinks and fruit juices, tooth brushing and first dental visit in high DMFT 4–6 years old of Riyadh region. Indian J Dent Res 1995; 6:21–24.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Wyne AH, Adenubi JO, Shalan T et al. Feeding and socioeconomic characteristics of nursing caries children in a Saudi population. Pediatr Dent 1995; 17:451–454.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Growth and Development DepartmentAjman University of Science & TechnologyEmirate of AjmanUnited Arab Emirates
  2. 2.University of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations