Fluoride Action Network

The dental health of three-year-old children in Greater Glasgow, Scotland

Source: British Dental Journal, 209, E5. | August 28th, 2010 | By AD McMahon, Y Blair, DR McCall, and LMD Macpherson


Objective To report on the dental health of three-year-old children in Greater Glasgow, and to examine the amount of dental caries associated with deprivation in this young age group.

Design Dental inspections in nursery schools.

Subjects and methods The national inspection programme using BASCD criteria was extended to include an additional group of nursery attending three-year-olds in Greater Glasgow in 2006/7 and 2007/8. Caries experience was analysed by logistic regression models and ROC plots.

Results Fourteen percent of this population was sampled in 2006/7 and 19% in 2007/8 (usable data n = 1,711 in 2006/7, 2,428 in 2007/8). Mean d3mft was 1.1 in 2006/7 and 1.0 in 2007/8. The prevalence of caries experience was 26% in 2006/7 and 25% in 2007/8 (33% and 32%, respectively, for children in deprived areas). The adjusted odds-ratio for caries experience for children living in the most deprived areas was 2.90 (2.31, 3.64), p <0.001. There was a high rate of caries in the upper anterior teeth.

Conclusion It was feasible to conduct large scale caries surveys of three-year-olds in a nursery setting. Poor dental health and inequality commence early in life. Caries prevention should be targeted toward deprived families from birth.

Key Points:

  • The three-year-old age group has never been researched in such detail before.
  • The sample size is very large (over 4,000 children), which creates accurate results that are useful for other researchers to use.
  • Sets a baseline for government targets.
  • Readers will be able to assess how much prevention will be required in the future.
  • Includes the effects of deprivation on dental health.\

    *Read the full article online at https://www.nature.com/articles/sj.bdj.2010.723

    *Note from FAN:
    For a further understanding of the Scottish Childsmile program, which was created because of the Scottish Executive’s decision not to fluoridate, go to http://fluoridealert.org/content/childsmile/