Early childhood caries and risk factors in young children of medium-low socioeconomic status, Ecuador

Early childhood caries and risk factors in young children of medium-low socioeconomic status, Ecuador

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Janeth Parra-Coronel
Diana Astudillo-Neira
Johana Ortiz-Ulloa


Introduction. Early childhood caries (ECC) is one of the most common infectious diseases for infants and
preschool children. Objective: To evaluate early childhood caries and risk factors associated with dietary practices and nutritional status in children of 10-48 months old. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed on 142 children of medium-low socio-economic status from a governmental child-care center in Cuenca, Ecuador. Dental health, nutritional status and dietary patterns were assessed through clinical examination, anthropometric measurements and 24-hours dietary recalls, respectively. Results: Early childhood caries prevalence was high (95.8%) mostly of advanced stage (83.1%). No associations with nutritional status. Daily consumption of cariogenic foods was significantly higher during weekdays (11.1 ± 1.4) (p<0.001). The diet was categorized as low cariogenic risk (<34). Child’s age (OR=1.1; 95% CI: 1.041, 1.160, p=0.001) and the plaque index (OR=4.9; 95% CI: 1.331, 17.82; p=0.017) were positive determinants for advanced caries. Conclusions: The deteriorated dental health of this population was evidenced, being worse at older ages without any association with dietary patterns. 

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