Purpose: The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence of malocclusions and dental characteristics of schoolchildren aged between 10 and 12 years in the city of Fortaleza, Ceará in northeastern Brazil. Materials and Methods: Two hundred and sixty-four children (107 boys and 157 girls) were examined using the Angle classification system. The occlusal characteristics studied were the measurements for overbite, overjet, crowding and midline diastema. The children who were selected had not had prior orthodontic treatment and were born in Ceará, as were their parents and grandparents. Results: Of the schoolchildren who were studied, 25.8% had normal occlusion, 47.7% had Class I malocclusion, 22.3% had Class II malocclusion and 4.2% had Class III malocclusion. There was no statistically significant difference between age and gender; 30.3% of the individuals had a normal overbite and 36.7% and 19.7% had increased and reduced overbites, respectively. A normal overjet was found in 33.7% of the subjects and increased and reduced overjet was found in 50% and 3.4%, respectively. Dental crowding was observed in 62.5% and the presence of midline diastema was observed in 14.8% of the schoolchildren. Conclusions: The most prevalent occlusal status was Class I malocclusion, with no distinction between age and gender. Increased overbite and overjet were predominant. There was a high occurrence of dental crowding among the subjects in contrast to the few cases of midline diastema.
Keywords: children, malocclusion, prevalence