Objective: Objective of the study was to determine prevalence of decayed tooth surfaces and factors influencing its development in primary dentition.
Materials and Methods: The study design adopted was analytical observational study. Caries examination was conducted using plain mouth mirror, probe with WHO caries detection criteria. Decayed tooth surfaces were examined under optimal light source by a single qualified examiner to minimize visual error. The obtained data were subjected to statistical analysis using SPSS 16 software. Test for significance was done with the help of Chi square test.
Results: Highest percentage of decayed tooth surfaces was observed at 5 years of age followed by 6, 4 and 3 years of age. There was slight predilection in development of decayed tooth surfaces in males than females. Higher parental education levels also significantly reduce prevalence of decayed tooth surfaces in preschool children. A significantly higher percentage of upper and upper middle-class children collectively had decayed teeth than of the collective middle class, lower middle class and lower class. The ratio of breast & bottle feeding to breast feeding habit only was 32.3:67.7. A significant association was observed between decayed tooth surfaces and feeding habits. As duration of the breast feeding and bottle feeding increased, the percentage of decayed tooth surfaces also increased.
Conclusion: Among the studied factors; maternal education level, parental social class, feeding habits, duration of breast & bottle feeding had the most significant effect on the development of decayed tooth surfaces in preschool children.