Purpose: To describe the tooth status, periodontal status, oral hygiene and snacking habits of children in four villages in northeastern Myanmar.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study using a convenient sampling protocol. All children ages 5 and 12 years from four villages were examined by an experienced epidemiologist, and the status of their primary and permanent dentition, respectively, was reported using the diagnostic criteria recommended by the World Health Organisation. A parental questionnaire survey was performed to study the childrens habits.
Results: A total of 95 5-year-old and 80 12-year-old children were examined. It was found that 94% and 39% of the 5- and 12-year-old children, respectively, had never brushed their teeth. Few children had snacking habits. Most of the children - 75% of the 5-year-olds and 85% of the 12-year-olds - had no caries experience. The mean dmft score of the 5-year-olds was 0.9, while the mean DMFT score of the 12-year-olds was 0.2. Signs of moderate to severe gingivitis were found in 42% of the 5-year-olds, and 40% of the 12-year-olds had dental calculus.
Conclusions: The prevalence and severity of dental caries among the children in the four villages in northeastern Myanmar was low. Their oral hygiene habits and periodontal conditions were not satisfactory and need to be improved.
Keywords: Burma, caries, children, gingivitis, Myanmar, oral hygiene, periodontal