Assessing the validity of a questionnaire for parents to determine their child’s caries risk

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Huminicki, Amanda
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Dental caries is a very common chronic infectious disease that is preventable and related to dental behaviours. The objective of this study was to develop a parental questionnaire to predict the child’s caries risk without professional evaluation and assess if risk factors worked together and if behaviours changed over time. At baseline, a survey and examination for caries were administered to 100 subjects aged 1 to 3 years old in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Six months later the same survey and examination were administered. Statistical analysis included logistic regression, Pearson Chi-squared, McNemar’s, Fisher’s exact tests and paired T-tests. The main finding was this survey could not predict future caries risk. Parents’ reports of visible cavities/fillings in their child predicted caries. Few risk factors changed significantly over time. A change in developmental delay corresponded to a change in caries. Overall, caries risk was found to be complex and requires further investigation.
Dental caries, Early childhood caries, Prevention, Caries risk assessment