Oral hygiene in the control of occlusal caries

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Occlusal pit and fissure caries accounts for a high proportion of the total caries burden among children. Studies from Denmark suggested that oral hygiene measures may be effective in the control of occlusal caries in permanent teeth. This study reports on the findings after 24 months of a controlled field trial comparing the caries-preventive effects of a professional tooth-cleaning and dental health education programme (test) with a standard preventive programme (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 years, with sound newly erupted first permanent molars were included in the study (207 test, 197 control). After 24 months, 179 test and 156 control children were examined by a calibrated examiner who was 'blind' to the test or control status of the child. Thirty-two test and 31 control children developed occlusal caries on the first permanent molars; the estimated risk ratio was 0.90 (95% CI 0.58-1.41). Children in both groups had an average DMFT score of 0.30. The 24-month results suggest that the two preventive programmes did not differ with respect to the control of occlusal caries in newly erupted molars.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-330
Number of pages7
JournalCommunity Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1998
Externally publishedYes


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