Prevalence and determinants of dental caries in Portuguese children

Nélio Jorge Veiga, Carlos Pereira, Odete Amaral

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review



Introduction: Dental caries is the most prevalent disease among children and there are studies concerning its prevalence and associated oral health determinants. The aim of this study consisted in the assessment of the prevalence of dental caries, dmft and DMFT index among schoolchildren and analysis of the association between oral health behaviors and socio-demographic aspects. Research Methods: In a cross-sectional study we assessed 605 children aged between 6 to 12 years from 27 public schools of Sátão, Portugal. Dental caries was assessed by performing an intraoral observation. Data concerning children's oral health behaviors and socio-demographic variables were collected through a questionnaire filled out by their parents. Findings: We verified that the dmft index was 3.01±3.03 and DMFT index was 0.93±1.35. The prevalence of dental caries is associated with age (≤8 years, 37.1% vs 40.0%,p=0.008), parents’ educational level (0-4 years,4-9 years,>9 years,41.2% vs 43.7% vs 13.8%,p=0.001) and residence area (rural,42,2% vs. 31.2%,p=0.003). Dental caries is also associated with oral health behaviors such as toothbrushing (twice or more times per day,31.2% vs 42.2%,p=0.003), dental flossing (34.5% vs 42.3%,p=0.036) and frequent dental appointments (34.5% vs 41.2%,p=0.04). Conclusions: We found a moderate prevalence of dental caries and in early age children there is a high percentage with multiple dental caries. Dental caries is associated with socio-demographic and behavioral aspects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication5th ICEEPSY International Conference on Education & Educational Psychology
EditorsZ. Bekirogullari, M. Y. Minas
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event5th International Conference on Education & Educational Psychology - Kyrenia, Cyprus
Duration: 22 Oct 201425 Oct 2014

Publication series

NameProcedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences
PublisherElsevier BV
ISSN (Print)1877-0428


Conference5th International Conference on Education & Educational Psychology
Abbreviated titleICEEPSY


  • Dental caries
  • Oral health
  • Toothbrushing
  • Oral hygiene
  • Childhood


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