Avaliação do risco de cárie dentária em crianças com 6 anos de idade no âmbito do programa nacional de promoção da saúde oral

  • Joaquim Eduardo Pombal Gonçalves (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Introduction: The National Program for the Promotion of Oral Health defines a set of goals, in terms of oral health, recognizing the importance of assessing the risk of tooth decay, so that high-risk children have priority in referral to dental treatment and application of preventive measures.Objectives: This research aimed to assess the individual risk of dental caries and the factors/oral health related behaviors associated with this risk as well as analyze the importance of education in the prevention and oral health promotion and thus define a set of strategies to improve behavior and oral health status of children.Methods: A cross-sectional observational epidemiological study was carried out on six-year-old children of the Group of Schools Diogo Cão, Vila Real. To determine the association between the risk of dental caries and factors/behaviors the Chi-square test, with a significance level of 5% was applied. To classify the degree of dependence between variables we used the Pearson correlation coefficient.Results: It was found that 61.1% of the children had a high risk of dental caries. The dmft index was 1.93 and 52% of the children were caries free. It was found a statistically significant association between the risk of dental caries and the level of education completed by fathers/mothers of children (p <0.001), consumption of cariogenic foods (p<0.001) and poor oral hygiene (p<0.001). However, this association was not observed with respect to gender, place of residence and the time spent brushing teeth. Only 14.9% of children performed brushing teeth at school after lunch, with only about half of children (48.4%) learned to brush their teeth at school. Conclusion: It seems important that schools develop more projects and practical activities of oral health, with special emphasis on the daily brushing teeth at school. It is essential to focus on the actions of individuals in higher risk of caries, particularly those whose parents/mothers have a lower socio-cultural level. Progress in terms of oral health, has been very little. Thus, if there isn’t a turn around, we will hardly reach the appointed value prescribed by the World Health Organization for the year 2020 in Europe, which is 80% of children free of caries at 6 years of age.
Date of Award2014
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorNélio Jorge Veiga (Supervisor) & Cláudia Ribeiro (Co-Supervisor)


  • Carie-risk assessment
  • Oral health behavior
  • School and oral health
  • National Program for the Promotion of Oral Health


  • Mestrado em Medicina Dentária

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