Background and aim: Early loss of deciduous teeth has negative effects on chewing function, aesthetics, self-esteem and permanent dentition. This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of premature primary tooth loss and the contributing factors in children aged 36 -71 months in Babol city (North of Iran).
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 558 heathy preschool children underwent oral examination to record the type and frequency of premature tooth loss and Silness-Loe plaque index. The parents were then asked to fill out a questionnaire about the related factors. Data were evaluated by SPSS (v23) and were analyzed using one-way ANOVA and independent-samples t-test and multiple linear regression analysis. The level of significance was set at p ≤ 0.05.
Results: The frequency rate of missing primary teeth was 1.56% estimated in 13.62% of children. The mean number of missing teeth showed a significant difference among different subgroups of children classified based on parent’s education (p=0.001), socio-economic status (p=0.001), child's age (p=0.02), plaque index (p=0.001), frequency of consumption of cariogenic snacks (p=0.001) and brushing (p=0.001). According to multiple linear regression test, Father's educational level, socio-economic status, plaque index, and frequency of consumption of cariogenic snacks were correlated with the number of missing teeth.
Conclusion: Less than one-seventh of children had at least one premature missing primary tooth. Child's age, parent’s educational level, socio-economic status, frequency of consumption of cariogenic snacks, plaque index and brushing are related to premature primary tooth loss.