2Private Practice, Casablanca, Morocco
Objective: The aim of the present study was to assess the prevalence of the early childhood caries (S-ECC) and its impact on preschool children’s life (aged 4-6), as well as on their parents, in one of the most popular prefectures in Casablanca, Morocco.
Materials and Methods: Parents of 546 children attending 11 randomly selected preschools (7 private and 4 public institutions) were invited to complete 13 items of an oral health questionnaire and had their children undergo a dental examination. The quality of life was evaluated using the Early Childhood Oral Health Impact Scale (ECOHIS).
Statistical analysis: The data collected were analyzed using the SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences). To find the comparison between groups, Chi-square test was used.
Results: The prevalence of the ECC and the S-ECC were 74.2% and 47.3% respectively. The negative effect of S-ECC on children’s
quality of life has many aspects: 59.3% of them have experienced tooth pain, 41.5% have reported eating difficulties, and 41.3% have had drinking difficulties. Moreover, 40% of parents expressed feelings of guilt and 10.6% had to take time off work due to their children’s oral health status. On another note, the financial impact of the S-ECC was also significant.
Conclusion: The S-ECC negatively impacts the life quality of children aged between 4 and 6 years old in addition to their parents’. This suggests a need for further strategic planning and preventive program adapted to such a public health problem.