Implementation and evaluation of an interdisciplinary preventive program to prevent early childhood caries

  • Julia Winter
  • Birgit Bartsch
  • Claudia Schütz
  • Anahita Jablonski-Momeni
  • Klaus Pieper
Original Article

Abstract

Objectives

Since early childhood caries (ECC) is a major disease in the public health sector, an interdisciplinary prevention concept to avert this disease was developed, launched in a project region, and evaluated. It was examined whether the emergence of ECC could be prevented or curbed with the newly developed program.

Materials and methods

The program encompasses seven pulses of information from an interdisciplinary team (gynecologists, midwives, pediatricians, dentists, municipal social services, and the public health office). The primary dependent variables were caries experience and prevalence among the 3- to 4-year-olds who took part in the ECC prevention program, compared to children of the same age without such measures. The effect of the prevention program was assessed by means of a “historical” comparison. The dental diagnoses were performed by two calibrated dentists based on the “ICDAS collapsed.” Data on diet and preventive behavior were gathered using a standardized parental questionnaire. The significance was tested using the nonparametric Mann-Whitney U test.

Results

There were 661 3- to 4-year-olds in the control group and 706 in the test group. The mean d3−6mf-t for the control group (0.92) was significantly higher than that for the test group (0.46). While 78.8% of the children examined in the control group exhibited predominantly sound primary dentition, this was the case for 86.3% of the test group. The proportion of children with S-ECC was 7.9% in the test group and 14.5% in the control group. The test group differed significantly from the control group both in terms of reported diet and dental hygiene habits.

Conclusions and clinical relevance

The interdisciplinary prevention program presented here is an effective concept for preventing ECC and considerably helps reduce problems in the treatment of small children.

Keywords

Early childhood caries Prevention Interdisciplinary program ICDAS Infants 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Marburg, Germany (file number—Study 196/11, chairman—Prof. G. Richter).

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all parents whose children participated in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Paediatric and Community DentistryPhilipps-University MarburgMarburgGermany
  2. 2.Dental Public Health ServiceDormagenGermany
  3. 3.Dental Public Health ServiceNeussGermany

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