PURPOSE: This study examined risk factors for children having new cavitated caries between 5 and 9 years old.
METHODS: Subjects were Iowa Fluoride Study cohort children (mostly Caucasian and of relatively high socioeconomic status) with both primary and mixed dentition caries exams and at least 2 diet diaries recorded between 5 and 8 years old (N=198). Using surface-specific transitions, combined counts of new cavitated caries (d(2-3)f and/or D(2-3)F) were determined from 4 primary second molars, 8 permanent incisors, and 4 permanent molars. Food and beverage intake frequencies were abstracted. Other factors were assessed using periodic questionnaires. Logistic regression identified predictors of new cavitated caries.
RESULTS: Thirty-seven percent had new cavitated caries. The mean new cavitated caries count for all children was 1.17 surfaces (±2.28 SD). In multivariable logistic regression, the following were significantly associated (P<.10) with having new cavitated caries: noncavitated caries experience at 5 years old (odds ratio [OR]=2.67, P=.03); cavitated caries experience at 5 years old (OR=3.39, P=.004); greater processed starch at snack frequency (OR=3.87, P=.07); being older (OR=1.68, P=.04); and less frequent tooth-brushing (P=.001).
CONCLUSION: Results suggested that increased tooth-brushing frequency and reduced consumption of processed starches as snacks may reduce caries incidence in younger school-aged children.