Infection Control measures in dental practice in Khartoum State

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Dental caries and early childhood caries (ECC) are among the most prevalent health problems of young children. Thus this study was conducted to estimate the dental caries status in kindergartens children in Khartoum Province. Six hundred and ten Sudanese children aged 3-5 years were chosen, using a multistage sampling technique, from kindergartens in different areas of Khartoum Province. Data was collected via questionnaires and clinical examinations. Questionnaires were completed by direct interviews with mothers of the children. Diagnosis of dental caries was based on the criteria defined by WHO 1987. ECC was diagnosed when the child had two or more dmf maxillary incisor teeth. The study showed that 199(32-6%) of the children examined were caries free while 411(67-4%) had caries. Mean dmft and dmfs were 3.42 and 6.82 respectively. Thus, compared to previous studies in Khartoum, dental caries in preschool children had increased dramatically during the last decade. One hundred and fourty (23-0%) children had ECC with dmft and dmfs of 8.12 and 19.15 respectively. Sex, levels of kindergartens (high or low) and educational levels of parents did not have a significant relationship with both dental caries and ECC. While age of the children and frequency of daily tooth brushing had a significant effect on both these conditions. This study showed clearly that breast feeding is still dominant as 584(95.7%) children had been breastfed at some time while 308(50.5%) had been bottle fed at some time. In this study, bottle feeding had a significant relationship with the prevalence of ECC when compared to breast feeding. However, some abusive infants feeding habits, when associated with breast feeding, increased significantly the prevalence of ECC. These habits included higher age of weaning, night feeding and feeding children while sleeping .The addition of sugar to milk, but not to other liquids, put in baby bottles also caused a significant increase in the prevalence of ECC. Majority of the children, 520(85.2%), brushed their teeth daily. Frequency of tooth brushing per day did not have a significant difference in between sexes, but it increased significantly with age of the children, levels of their kindergarten and educational levels of both parents. Dental care received by the children seemed to be really minute. Just 83(13.6%) children had ever visited a dentist. Of those, 43 (7.5%) had one dental visit. The" m" and "f" components of the dmft were 0.06 and 0.02 respectively while the "d" component was 3.34. These facts indicate clearly the lack of adequate dental care received by these children. Therefore, it must be highly recommended that more care e has to be given to the prevention and treatment of dental caries of primary teeth.