Situational analysis of dental caries and existing oral health care of children and adolescents in Hubei Province, People's Republic of China: implications for change.
SourceOral Health & Preventive Dentistry, 6, 1, (2008), pp. 13-21
Article / Letter to editor
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Oral Function and Prosthetic Dentistry
Oral Health & Preventive Dentistry
SubjectEBP 3: Effective Primary Care and Public Health; NCEBP 7: Effective primary care and public health
PURPOSE: (1) To evaluate trends in dental caries of children and adolescents of Hubei Province and Wuhan Municipality over the last two decades. (2) To conduct a situational analysis of existing oral health care and to recommend changes to improve this care for children. MATERIALS AND METHODS: An analysis was performed on data from national oral health surveys carried out in China at the provincial level, and data on 12-year-old children of Wuhan Municipality. A review of the literature was conducted on available and utilised oral health care facilities by children. RESULTS: In 1983, the mean decayed, missing and filled teeth (DMFT) of 12-year-olds in Hubei Province was 1.0, and in 1995 it was 0.6. The studies in Wuhan Municipality in 1993-1995 among 12-year-olds reported DMFT values ranging from 0.7-1.5, however different methods of caries assessment were performed in the various studies making comparisons difficult. The caries prevalence and the mean dmft score of 5-year-old children in 1995 in Hubei Province were 69% and 3.6, respectively. The percentage of untreated caries for all age groups in Hubei Province was very high. CONCLUSIONS: Analysis of epidemiological information over the last two decades does not provide any conclusive evidence supporting either an increasing or decreasing trend of dental caries in the child and adolescent population of Hubei Province and Wuhan Municipality. There is, however, a clear need to prevent the incidence of dental caries from increasing and to provide care to address the treatment needs of pre-school and school-age children. The promotion of twice-daily tooth brushing with fluoride toothpaste at maternal and child health care centres, and the establishment of daily tooth brushing with pea-size amounts of fluoride toothpaste in the pre-school and primary school setting are recommended preventive strategies. Establishment of school-based oral health promotion should be accompanied with the provision of Atraumatic Restorative Treatment (ART) sealants and ART restorations which can be provided by dental nurses at dramatically lower costs than the traditional high-tech approach.
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