Oral Health Status of 3- to 5 -Year-old Children Attending Early Childhood Care and Development Centers in Bhutan: A Pilot Study
Bhutan health journal
Early Childhood Caries (ECC) is a common childhood dental disease worldwide. To date, dental disease prevalence in children in Bhutan is unknown. Objectives: This study was conducted to estimate the prevalence of early childhood caries and its modifiable risk factors. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey in 3-5-years old children attending Early Childhood Care and Development Centers in Bhutan. Mouth examination recorded teeth with decay (d), missing due to decay (m) and filled (f),
... ) and filled (f), to calculate caries experience (mean dmft and standard deviation=SD). Parents and caregivers were interviewed about their children's oral health status, oral hygiene practices and diets among others. The prevalence of modifiable risk factors for disease was described based on parental responses. The association between decay and selected sociodemographic characteristics and oral health variables were investigated with bivariate analyses (X2). Results: Overall, 80.5% children had caries experience with mean dmft + or - SD (4.9 + 4.2). In fact, 79.9% had untreated decay. Only few had fillings as an evidence for availing dental care with mean filled 0.2 (SD=0.7). The percentage of decay increased significantly as maternal education increased and with low socioeconomic status (p=0.02). Conclusions: Early Childhood Caries are highly prevalent in Bhutan. Very few young children sought dental care. We recommend engaging relevant stakeholders in efforts to promote dental care and educate parents to use fluoridated toothpastes.