Effects of socio-economic and behavioural factors on early childhood caries among children attending a dental clinic in Nairobi, Kenya
Background: Early childhood caries (ECC) is a growing oral health problem in the developing nations and has been associated with a number of socio-economic and behavioural factors.
Objective: To determine the effects of some socio-economic and behavioural factors related to ECC in 3-6-year-old children attending an out-patient paediatric dental clinic in Nairobi, Kenya.
Design: A descriptive cross-sectional study
Setting: The Lady Northey dental clinic during the period of October to November 2014.
Subjects: Two hundred and seventy two (272) children whose parents/guardians were initially interviewed to determine the socio-economic status of each of the children.
Results: The prevalence of dental caries among the children was 95.5%, most of whom had poor oral hygiene. The high decayed, missing and filled teeth (dmft) was associated with the low socio-economic status of the parents/guardians, poor oral hygiene, increased consumption of cariogenic sugars and low oral health seeking behaviour.
Conclusion: The high prevalence of ECC of 95.5% found among the children who participated in the study has a prominent association to their socio-economic and behavioural factors.