To measure the effectiveness of fluoride varnish (FV) (Duraflor), 5% sodium fluoride, Pharmascience Inc., Montréal, QC, Canada) and caregiver counseling in preventing early childhood caries (ECC) in Aboriginal children in a 2-year community-randomized controlled trial.
Twenty First Nations communities in the Sioux Lookout Zone (SLZ), Northwest Ontario, Canada were randomized to two study groups. All caregivers received oral health counseling, while children in one group received FV twice per year and the controls received no varnish. A total of 1275, 6 months to 5-year-old children from the SLZ communities were enrolled. In addition, a convenience sample of 150 primarily non-Aboriginal children of the same age were recruited from the neighboring community of Thunder Bay and used as comparisons. Longitudinal examinations for the dmft/s indices were conducted by calibrated hygienists in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
Aboriginal children living in the SLZ or in Thunder Bay had significantly higher caries prevalence and severity than non-Aboriginal children in Thunder Bay. FV treatment conferred an 18% reduction in the 2-year mean 'net' dmfs increment for Aboriginal children and a 25% reduction for all children, using cluster analysis to adjust for the intra-cluster correlation among children in the same community. Adjusted odds ratio for caries incidence was 1.96 times higher in the controls than in the FV group (95% CI = 1.08-3.56; P = 0.027). For those caries-free at baseline, the number (of children) needed to treat (NNT) equaled 7.4.
Findings support the use of FV at least twice per year, in conjunction with caregiver counseling, to prevent ECC, reduce caries increment and oral health inequalities between young Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children.
The treatment-mix, treatment time, and dental status of 268 male industrial workers entitled to employer-provided dental care were studied. The data were collected from treatment records of the covered workers over the 5-year period 1989-93. Treatment time was based on clinical treatment time recorded per patient visit, and the treatment procedure codes were reclassified into a treatment-mix according to American Dental Association categories, with a modification combining endodontics and restorative treatment. The mean number of check-ups followed by prescribed treatment (treatment courses) during the 5 years was 3.7 among those who had entered the in-house dental care program prior to the monitored period (old attenders). Their treatment time was stable, 57-63 min per year, while the first-year mean treatment time (170 min) of those who had entered the program during the study period (new attenders) was significantly higher (P
The purpose of the present study was to establish whether the number of intact teeth in Helsinki schoolchildren aged 7-13 years was rationally correlated with the wartime reduction in sugar consumption and, later, with dental health education programs in Finland. The period covered is 44 years. The results show that dental health education is effective in caries prevention and that enforced programs can lead to an improvement similar to that seen during the war.
Department of Preventive Dentisty, Public Dental Health, Uppsala County Council, Uppsala, Sweden; Department of Cariology, Institute of Odontology, The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
To describe adolescents' experiences of participating in a school-based oral health intervention programme for 2 years containing education about oral health and fluoride varnish treatment at the school clinic.
Sixteen adolescents aged 13-16 were interviewed in three focus group sessions. A phenomenographic approach was used for analysis.
The results are presented as three themes and seven descriptive categories. The three themes were 'Seeing the dental hygienist', 'Treatments at the dental hygiene clinic' and 'Education about oral health in class'. The results demonstrate satisfaction with the intervention, such as accessibility, time gain and expanding knowledge. On the other hand, feelings of vulnerability in the treatment sessions were expressed. The fluoride varnish treatment was given both positive and negative reviews. The contact between the participants and the dental hygienist was important, and the opportunity to ask questions about oral health issues was emphasized.
Both positive and negative experiences of the programme were found. Adolescence is a transitional period of life, and for this reason, it is important to create a good working alliance between students and the dental hygienist in future school-based oral health interventions.
Accounts of self-perceptions of oral health have hitherto been rare, although they are of great interest for strategies in health promotion. The objective of this study was to increase our knowledge of adolescents' perceptions of oral health and influencing factors. Semi-structured interviews of 17 Swedish adolescents were performed. Criteria for strategic sampling were age (15, 18 years), gender (male, female), and dental health (healthy, unhealthy). Data were analyzed according to the constant comparative method. Areas of focus were general oral health, personal oral health, dental care, and life-style issues. Oral health awareness was generally low among the informants. Two categories of oral health were identified: action (the physical things we do to effect the condition of our mouths) and condition (the physical status of the mouth). Conditional aspects were most frequent in evaluations of personal oral health. The informants considered their possibilities to influence oral health limited. Perceptions of influences on oral health were related to personal and professional care, social support and impact, and external factors. 'Concern for oral health' was derived as the core category in perceived influence on oral health. The study indicates that it is important to find factors that enhance adolescents' awareness of their own resources and to seek mechanisms that govern internalization. There is a need to find strategies to convey such knowledge to the intermediaries: dental personnel and parents.
The objective of this study was to investigate adolescents' perceptions and desires with respect to oral health education. A series of focus group sessions was conducted with adolescents in schools. The groups comprised an average of 6 individuals, with a total of 34 participants. The main themes of the discussions were the informants' perceptions of the oral health education in different settings and under varying circumstances. The discussions were transcribed verbatim and analyzed according to the basic principles of Grounded Theory. One of the most important issues appeared to be the dental personnel considering the individual as a subject and not as an object. The adolescents in the study were uncertain about their knowledge of oral health. Often, the participants expressed a wish to be taught more at the dental visit. Information in schools was sparse. The support of parents was acknowledged but little discussed. The methods used in advertisements to describe dental products were met with skepticism. These should not be imitated in oral health education as this might undermine the credibility of the dental services. Girls were perceived to be more interested in health than boys were. Two core categories labeled "credibility" and "confidence", which interacted continually, emerged from the data in the analysis. The results indicate that the credibility of the intermediary of the health messages is essential, as is their ability to create confidence. Thus, oral health education among adolescents is more likely to be successful when credibility and confidence are perceived.