An Assessment of Urbanization as it Relates to Caries Prevalence and its Determinants in Children in Copan, Honduras
<bold>Objective:</bold> To determine if a significant association exists between urbanization and dental caries prevalence, and whether or not similar relationships occur between community type and principal determinants of youth oral health in children ages 2 to 12 in the region of Copan, Honduras.
<bold>Methods:</bold> The investigator conducted a cross-sectional two-part interview with each participant. First, a survey was administered to the parent to collect information surrounding dental caries determinants. Second, the investigator performed a brief examination of child dentition to determine the number of existing caries. Data was collected from two separate patient populations: an urban sample of children within Copan Ruinas, and an indigenous sample from 15 surrounding rural villages.
<bold>Results:</bold> Samples consisted of 203 individuals from the urban population and 221 from the rural. While there was no visible association between caries prevalence and urbanization, teeth brushing, parent education, and sugar intake demonstrated highly significant correlations (P<0.01). Mean DMFT Score for the combined samples was 5.15.
<bold>Conclusion:</bold> There is a clear need for dental interventions both in urban and rural communities in Copan, Honduras. Sugar consumption is likely contributing to increased caries prevalence in the urban community. Other factors such as water fluoridation could be influencing DMFT scores in Copan's more rural villages.
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