Abstracts - The 13th Annual Conference of the European Association of Dental Public Health. Heidelberg, Germany. 4 - 6 September, 2008

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P1. 3-year evaluation of an oral health promotion programme in young children (Flanders, Belgium)
DECLERCK D1*, LEROY R1, HOPPENBROUWERS K2, MARTENS L4, LESAFFRE E3 P a e d i a t r i c D e n t i s t r y 1 , Yo u t h H e a l t h C a r e 2 , Biostatistics3,Catholic University Leuven - Paediatric Denistry4, University Ghent – Belgium Aim To evaluate an oral health intervention in very young children. Methods Child & Family (C&F) is a Flemish public agency whose purpose is to monitor the welfare and health of all children from their birth up to the age of 3 years. For parents with small children C&F is an important source of information regarding growth, diet, hygiene. A wide range of parents use this (free!) offer of support. More than 95% of newborn children are contacted by C&F. In order to improve the oral health of very young children, the existing care programme -offered by the nurses from C&F - was extended with oral health related advice that was supported by specifically developed communication tools. This extended care programme was offered to 1,080 children (I group) born after October 1st, 2003; 1,057 children from a geographically distinct area served as controls (C group). These children received the standard care programme. In both areas identical and well-specified inclusion and exclusion criteria were used. At age 3, parents completed a validated questionnaire. Children were examined by trained dentists using mirror and probe. Caries experience (BASCD criteria) was assessed at d1, d2 and d3 level. The project protocol was approved by the ethical committee of the Catholic University Leuven. Comparisons between baseline and follow-up were performed using logistic regression analysis. Differences were tested for statistical significance (5% level) using likelihood ratio tests. Results Information was available for 79% of children from the I group and 66% from the C group. In both groups there was an increase in caries experience free children between 2003 and 2007 (93.5% to 97.2% in I and 90.5% to 95.5% in C, assessed at d3 level). The increase of disease free children at d1 level was significantly higher in children from the intervention group (84.9% to 94.1% versus 75.7% to 79.0%) (p<0.01). A statistically significant improvement in several reported oral health related behaviours was seen in both groups. The reported consumption of sugar-containing between-meals snacks decreased only in the intervention group. The reported (prolonged) use of a nursing bottle and/or pacifier remained unchanged, in both groups. Conclusion The oral health of 3-yr olds in Flanders improved between 2003 and 2007. The evaluated oral health intervention programme resulted in a statistically significant improvement in oral health compared to the control group only when caries experience was measured at d1 level (initial lesions). Although several reported oral health habits showed an improvement, the impact on nursing practices (bottle, pacifier) was negligible. Study supported by GABA International.

P2. Caries prevalence and experience in preschoolers in Italy: association with social class
FERRO R 1*, CECCHIN C 1, BESOSTRI A 1, OLIVIERI A 2, STELLINI E 3 Dental Unit, Regional Centre for the Study, the Prevention and the Therapy of Dental Diseases of Veneto Region - Cittadella Hospital – Health District no.15 - Cittadella (PD) – Italy, 2 Epidemiology Unit – Prevention Department – Health District no. 15 Cittadella (PD) – Italy, 3 School of Dentistry - University of Padua - Padua – Italy.

Aim To correlate the occurrence of dental caries with social class in preschoolers in Veneto region of Italy. Methods A cross sectional survey was carried out in 20 (out of 88) randomly selected nursery schools in the area of Health District n.15. 1,820 3-5 year-old children (out of 7,397) were enrolled and 1,410 were visited (subject to their parents written informed consent) in classrooms between September 2005 and May 2006. The response rate was 75%. Drop outs occurred because of absence from the classrooms (372) or due to lack of parental consent (38). WHO (1997) diagnostic criteria for dental caries into dentine threshold were adopted by two calibrated examiners. Information on social level by occupation of the parents was obtained through a questionnaire (n=1205-response rate 85.5%). Children were divided into 4 groups: high class (n=211); clerks (n=395); self employed (n=200); working class (n=399) on the basis of their family social class assessed at the highest occupational level of either parent. Means and standard deviation were calculated for continuous variables; for categorical variables the results were provided as proportions. Comparisons between groups were made using Pearson chi-squared test. The association between caries occurrence and the independent variable family social class was evaluated by means of a logistic regression model. Results Caries prevalence and mean dmft among children were: 23% - 0.8±2.1 in the high class; 21% - 0.7±2.0 in the clerks class; 27% - 1.2±2.8 in......

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