Effect of social-behavioral factors on dental caries in 3-6-year-old children in Kerman, Iran

Fatemeh Sadat Sajadi, Molook Torabi, Zahra Salari, Behshad Shamsolmaali


BACKGROUND AND AIM: Dental caries is a multifactorial disease with a complex etiology. The social-behavioral factors play an important role in development of dental caries. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of social-behavioral factors on dental caries in 3-6-year-old children in Kerman, Iran.

METHODS: This cross-sectional descriptive-analytical study was conducted on 857 children aged 3-6 years. Data collection tools were clinical examination and a form which contained two sections. The first section included demographic characteristics of children and record of their decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT) index, whereas the second section contained questions on social-behavioral factors of children and parents, which were designed in four areas of oral health service system, as well as environmental, social-cultural, and risk behaviors factors. Data analysis was performed by SPSS software using statistical tests, analysis of variance (ANOVA), t-test, and multiple linear regression model. In addition, P-value of 0.0500 was considered significant.

RESULTS: In this research, 456 subjects were female and 401 were male. Moreover, mean age of the children was 4.76 ± 1.04 years. A significant relationship was observed between the mean DMFT index and level of education and marital status of parents (P = 0.001). Children of parents with higher education and occupational status had lower mean DMFT index. On the other hand, a significant association was found between mean DMFT index and the variables of milk consumption at night (P = 0.001), consumption of sweets and biscuits (P = 0.038), and use of toothbrush (P = 0.005) and dental floss (P = 0.001). Furthermore, a significant relationship was observed between the mean DMFT index and age of children (P = 0.001).

CONCLUSION: Despite the advancements made in social, cultural, economic, and health aspects of treatment over the past few years, there is still a direct relationship between social-behavioral factors and dental caries in preschool children.


Dental Caries; Social Factors; Behavioral Factors; Preschool Children

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22122/johoe.v7i4.400


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