European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 331–337 | Cite as

Risk factors for early childhood caries: a case–control study

  • R. MaheshEmail author
  • M. S. Muthu
  • S. J. L. Rodrigues
Original Scientific Article



To investigate the risk factors for early childhood caries (ECC) among Indian preschool children.


This case control study recruited 380 children who were divided into two groups based on their def scores. The study group (cases) included children who were diagnosed with ECC (def > 0). The cases were compared with the control group which included children who were caries free (def = 0). Data were statistically analysed using χ 2 test and multiple logistic regression analysis.


Risk factors specific to the ECC group were first born child (OR 4.18, 95 % CI 1.98–8.80), snacking more than thrice per day (OR 2.78, 95 % CI 1.41–5.47), bottled drinking water (OR 4.58, 95 % CI 2.13–9.86), use of more than a smear amount of toothpaste (OR 4.99, 95 % CI 2.54–9.81), mother unemployed (OR 3.45, 95 % CI 1.70–6.99) and day care person of the child (OR 8.49, 95 % CI 3.98–18.10).


Most common risk factors were order of birth, snacking more than thrice per day, source of drinking water, use of more than a smear amount of toothpaste, mother’s work status and day care person of the child.


Early childhood caries Risk factors Dietary habits Feeding practices 



The authors would like to acknowledge Dr. K. Muthu Prathibha and Dr. Y. Padmanabhan for their contribution towards designing the study, language editing of the manuscript and statistical analysis.


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Copyright information

© European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Mahesh
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • M. S. Muthu
    • 3
  • S. J. L. Rodrigues
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Paedodontics and Preventive DentistrySaveetha UniversityChennaiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Paedodontics and Preventive DentistrySaveetha Dental College & HospitalChennaiIndia
  3. 3.Department of Pediatric DentistryFaculty of Dental Sciences, Sri Ramachandra UniversityChennaiIndia

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