DIETARY HABITS, NUTRITIONAL STATUS AND PREVALENCE OF DENTAL CARIES AMONG 5-YEAR-OLD SCHOOL CHILDREN IN UASIN-GISHU COUNTY, KENYA
Dental caries affects 60-90% of children globally with the burden in both industrialized and less industrialized countries undergoing nutrition transition. Nutritional deprivation due to difficulty in eating a variety of foods because of pain from dental caries when chewing food translates into prolonged negative effects on physical growth, cognitive development and overall academic performance. The aim was to assess the link between dental caries, dietary habits and nutritional status of 5-year-old school in Uasin-Gishu County. A cross-sectional survey design was used. Multi-stage systematic and simple random sampling procedures were employed in selecting three hundred and eighty-two (382) 5-year-old children and their parents/caregivers who participated in the study. The criteria proposed by WHO for oral health surveys was used to assess dental caries among 5-year-old. Information on demographic and socio-economic and oral health practices was gathered using structured questionnaires. Dietary intake was collected using quantitative food frequency questionnaire and nutritional status of the children assessed using anthropometric measurements. ENA for SMART computer programmes was used analyze the anthropometric and dietary intake data, while Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 21 (2014) analyzed the rest of the data. The relationship between nutritional status and dft was analyzed using Pearson’s with a statistical significance set at p < 0.05. Results showed that 39.3% of children had dental caries (mean dft of 1.55). Children from urban areas (228) had the highest mean dft of 1.83±1.37 while those from rural areas (154) had a mean dft score of 1.16±1.13. Nutrient requirements for protein, vitamin C, calcium, and phosphorus was met by the children, but did not meet the requirements for energy, folate, vitamin A, and iron. Children from urban area had higher overweight than rural children at 13.6% and 8.9% respectively. The prevalence of underweight was higher in rural areas at 10.7%, stunting at 14.6% and wasting at 6.8%. Underweight, overweight, obesity and wasting at (9.0%), (13.9%), (4.2%) and (6.7%) respectively had a significant relationship with dft. More children brushed their teeth (52.6%) with 16.5% brushing at least twice each day. Parents/caregivers had sufficient knowledge and a positive attitude towards oral health hygiene of the children where the techniques of brushing teeth and reduction in the rate of intake of cariogenic foods is not well implemented. In conclusion, the prevalence of dental caries is significantly higher among 5-year-old children in urban than rural areas. Parents displayed good knowledge and attitude towards oral health hygiene, however, they did not implement the right oral hygiene techniques. It is recommended that programs targeting alleviation of malnutrition among children be modified to include dental caries mitigation in both rural and urban areas, and that children should be fed on nutrient rich foods and cariogenic foods should be consumed occasionally.
SubjectDENTAL CARIES AND DIETARY HABITS, DENTAL CARIES AND NUTRITIONAL STATUS AMONG 5-YEAR-OLD, DENTAL CARIES PREVALENCE AMONG SCHOOL CHILDREN
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