Aim The present work aims to evaluate, through an epidemiological study, the prevalence of Early Childhood Caries in an Italian paediatric population, aged up to 71 months, evaluating some determinants that will be illustrated in this study in order to adopt preventive care and intervene as early as possible to limit the development of this disease. Methods The sample consisted of 76 children aged up to 71 months who were examined at the PAediatric Dentistry Clinic of the University of l’Aquila. Parents were informed of the research that was taking place. All read the information sheet explaining the study and signed the informed consent where it was emphasised that the data collected would be treated and stored in a strictly confidential manner, pursuant to the Legislative Decree 196/2003 in force in Italy since June 30, 2003, regarding the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data. At the end of this study, a standardised questionnaire administered. The questionnaire, divided into two parts, made it possible to acquire information regarding the characteristics of the population. First part: General data of the child and the medical history of the mother and father; Second part: The age and gender of the child, the type and duration of breastfeeding, the use of sugary pacifiers, oral hygiene and frequency of consumption of sugars drinks and food, identifying the starting age. Results Evaluating the dmft of each child, 40.79% of our sample population is affected by ECC; 57.89% of the children used the pacifier and 13,16% of them have or have used it with honey with a p value of 0.001, therefore this parameter was statistically significant, together with the intake of candies, chocolates and sugar drinks. The data was collected for a period of about 12 months, consequently a descriptive statistical analysis was conducted in which the characteristics of the population under consideration were outlined. Discrete and nominal variables have been described with frequencies and percentages. The percentage differences were evaluated using the chi-square test and the Fisher test. Quantitative variables were expressed in terms of mean and standard deviation and significance was assessed by the Mann- Whitney test. The level of significance was established as p <0.05. A Logistic Regression was conducted to evaluate the risk factors associated with a dmft>0 setting, dmft=0/dmft>0 as the dependent variable and the variables investigated as explanatory variables. The evaluation of the association was reported as the Odds Ratio with the 95% confidence interval. The statistical analysis was carried out using the Stata 12/1C statistical package. Conclusions ECC is a multifactorial disease in which eating habits play a very important role. A diet that from childhood is characterised by a high consumption of sugar-rich food and drinks is highly associated with the incidence of ECC in later years.
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