Effects of socio-economic and behavioural factors on early childhood caries among children attending a dental clinic in Nairobi, Kenya

  • F Chepkwony
  • A.M. Kemoli
  • R Owino
  • M Muasya


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.


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eISSN: 0012-835X