Control of occlusal caries in the first permanent molars by oral hygiene

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Abstract

Caries of the pits and fissures of permanent teeth continues to be a problem for children, newly erupted permanent molars being particularly at risk. Oral hygiene measures have been shown to be able to reduce the incidence of caries. The aim of this study was to compare the caries-preventive effects on newly erupted first permanent molars of a professional tooth cleaning and oral health education program (test) with a standard preventive program (control), comprising selective fissure sealing and application of topical fluorides. School Dental Service clinics of the Health Department of Western Australia, in Perth, were assigned to four test or four control clinics. Schoolchildren, mean age 6.3±0.3 (s) years with sound, newly erupted first permanent molars were included in the study (207 test, 197 control). After 12 months, 186 test and 163 control children were examined by an examiner who was 'blind' to the test or control status of the children. Caries of the first permanent molars developed in 34 test and 35 control children; the estimated risk ratio was 0.86 (95% CI 0.56, 1.30). Children in the test group had an average DFT score of 0.26±0.62 compared with 0.29±0.64 DFT in the control group (t-test, P=0.67). The 12-month results suggest that there was no statistically significant difference between the caries-preventive effects of a professional tooth cleaning and oral health education program and a program based on selective fissure sealing and application of topical fluorides.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-283
Number of pages6
JournalCommunity Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1997
Externally publishedYes

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