Data on the current dental health of 5- and 12-year-old children from eight European countries has been collected by calibrated examiners. In each country a random sample of 200 children in each age group was drawn from urban primary and secondary state schools, a total of 3200 subjects. The children were examined under standardized conditions by one or two examiners in each country, all of whom had been trained and calibrated to the Swedish reference examiner and had achieved good inter- and intra-examiner consistency. Mean dmft DMFT were 1.38/1.93 in Gent (Belgium), 2.99/2.58 in Berlin (Germany), 1.62/2.35 in Athens (Greece), 2.09/1.85 in Cork (Ireland), 2.81/2.24 in Sassari (Italy), 3.06/1-82 in Dundee (Scotland), 0.85/1.75 in Valencia (Spain), and 0.80/1.94 in Stockholm (Sweden). The major components in the dmft/DMFT indices varied. Among the 5-year-old children the m component predominated in the Scottish sample, the d and f components in Berlin and the d component in Sassari. Among the 12-year-olds, a high F component influenced the index in Berlin and Stockholm, whereas in Athens and Sassari the D component was relatively high. The frequency of fissure sealants was most frequent in the Scottish. Irish and Belgian samples of 12-year-olds.
An epidemiological investigation has been initiated from Sweden with the aim to study and compare dental health, dental treatment needs and attitudes to dental care in two well-defined age-groups, children of 5 and 12 years of age, in eight EU countries. To ensure comparability of the clinical registrations, data collection was preceded by clinical calibrations of the examiners from the participating countries. All the examiners participated in a workshop with initial calibration exercises. Agreement, expressed as sensitivity, was measured between the Swedish examiner acting as the reference examiner and each of the other examiners in turn, and assessed separately for the two age-groups. For DMFS/dmfs, agreement ranged from 44.3% to 82.2%. These results were discussed and where necessary the criteria were modified and/or made more stringent, so that they were clearcut and could be adhered to consistently. In a second calibration between the Swedish and the national examiner undertaken in each of the seven countries, the inter-examiner agreement (sensitivity) varied between 85.4% and 100%. The mean sensitivity for DMFS/dmfs after the total calibration procedures was 89.5% for the 12-year olds and 91.7 for the 5-year olds. The mean sensitivity for both age-groups together was 90.6% and the corresponding value for specificity was 98.9%.
The purpose of this study was to describe oral hygiene factors in infants and toddlers living in Sweden with special reference to caries prevalence at 2 and 3 yr of age and to immigrant status. The study was designed as a prospective, longitudinal study starting with 671 children aged 1 yr. At 3 yr, all the children were invited to a further examination. A total of 298 children, randomly selected from the original group, were also examined at 2 yr. The accompanying parent was interviewed about the child's oral health habits. Children who were free of caries at 3 yr had had their teeth brushed more frequently at 1 and 2 yr of age, had used fluoride (F)-toothpaste more often at 2 yr of age, and had a lower prevalence of visible plaque at 1 and 2 yr of age than children with caries. Immigrant children had had their teeth brushed less frequently, had used less F-toothpaste, and had a higher prevalence of visible plaque at 1 yr of age than nonimmigrant children. Early establishment of good oral hygiene habits and regular use of F-toothpaste seem to be important for achieving good oral health in pre-schoolchildren.