Association between dental caries and body mass in preschool children
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This was to explore the association between dental caries and body mass index (BMI) by conducting a cross-sectional study of a sample of preschool children from a major Greek city.
The sample consisted of 2180 children aged 2.5–5.9 years from 33 private day care centres of Thessaloniki. The examinations were performed on site in ample day light by one examiner using disposable dental mirrors and a penlight. Oral examinations included recording of dental caries by dmfs index. Subject’s height and weight were measured using a portable measuring unit and a digital scale, respectively.
The overall prevalence of underweight, normal weight, overweight and obese children in each BMI-based weight category was 11.8, 72.2, 12.8, and 3.2 %, respectively. The mean age of the total sample was 50.09 (±10.28) months, mean dmfs was 0.36 (±1.9) and the caries-free children were 90.0 %. Overweight children were 1.36 times and obese children 1.99 times more likely to have higher dmfs than normal weight children. The mean dmfs values of underweight children did not significantly differ than that of children with normal weight. The relatively higher dmfs of the obese and overweight children was mostly evident in the older (60–71 months) age group.
Caries prevalence in this sample of Greek children attending private day care centres was low. Overweight and obese preschool children were at higher risk of dental caries than normal- and underweight children.
KeywordsDental caries Body weight Preschool children
The authors wish to thank all the children, their parents and the kindergarten principals and staff for their cooperation in carrying out this study, as well as Dr. V. Boka for help in examination and recording procedures.
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