Dental caries experience and associated risk factors among 12year-old primary school children in Njiru district, Nairobi county
Despite great achievements in oral health of populations globally, problems still remain in many communities all over the world particularly among under-privileged groups in developed and developing countries. Dental caries and periodontal diseases have historically been considered the most important global oral health burden. At present, the distribution and severity of oral diseases vary among different parts of the world and within the same country or region. In light of changing living conditions, however, it is expected that the incidence of dental caries will increase in many developing countries in Africa, particularly due to a growing consumption of sugars and inadequate exposure to fluorides. Objective: To determine the dental caries experience and risk factors for dental caries of 12year-old primary school going children in Njiru district. Methodology: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study aimed at determining caries experience and risk factors for dental caries among 12-year-old children attending primary school in Njiru District, in Nairobi county in Kenya. A total of 219 children from 1 school were selected using random sampling technique. An interviewer administered questionnaire was used to gather information on caries risk factors. Clinical examination was done and caries experience was assessed using the DMFT index and recorded in a WHO clinical examination form. Data Analysis: The data collected was analyzed using IBM SPSS version 20 and Microsoft Excel computer software. Frequencies and Cross tabulations were done and Chi-square tests performed for categorical variables. Tests for significance were set at 95% confidence level. Results: A total of 219 children were interviewed and examined. All respondents were aged 12. 107(48.9%) were males and 112(50.7%) were females. Caries prevalence was 18.1%. DMFT was 0.25 SD(+-0.633). In males DMFT was 0.35 SD (+-0.73) and in females its was 0.16 SD (+0.51) p=0.03 . Most children 180 (82.2%) were caries free. Almost all the parents of the children had been to school 213 (97.3%). About half the parents 106 (48.4%) had attained college/university education. There were less fathers who had attained primary school education 12 (6.1%) and secondary 44 (22.1%) compared to the mothers, primary 25(11.7%) and secondary 82 (38.3%). Overall a higher number of fathers had attained tertiary education 68.3% compared to the mothers 49.5%. Majority of the children brushed their teeth 180 (82.2%), only 37 (6.9%) did not brush their teeth. 174 (79.5%) children indicated they brush their teeth using a tooth brush and a tooth paste. Remarkably 169 (77.2%) did not know what dental flossing is. Only a minority of the respondents 14 (6.4%) indicated that they flossed once a day. 42.5% of the children ate sweets several times a week and a surprising 83 (38.2%) ate sweets at least once a day. Gender in relation to frequency of eating sweets was found to be statistically significant p=0.031. Majority of the children 142 (64.8%) had never visited a dentist while 56 (25.6%) only visited while there was pain. Conclusion: The overall DMFT (0.25) observed in this study is lower than that reported in other studies conducted in Kenya, It’s also lower than the global standard according to WHO classification21. The findings indicate that there is need for reduced intake of cariogenic diet even though this has not yet contributed to caries formation yet. The low frequency of dental visits and high intake of cariogenic diet could increase dental caries among Njiru district children in future. Preventive practices such as regular dental checkups, provision of oral health instructions and education on harmful dietary should be advocated for in schools. This will protect the children from the risk factors of dental caries formation.