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The association between the prevalence of dental fluorosis and the socio-economic status and area of residence of 12-year-old students in Uruguay

Journal article
Authors M. Angulo
E. Cuitino
N. Molina-Frechero
Claes-Göran Emilson
Published in Acta Odontologica Scandinavica
ISSN 0001-6357
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Odontology
Language en
Keywords Dental fluorosis, socio-economic status, 12-year-old students, enamel fluorosis, toothpaste use, children, caries, fluoridation, water, community, ireland, teeth, Dentistry, Oral Surgery & Medicine
Subject categories Dentistry


Objective: This study investigates the association between the prevalence and severity of dental fluorosis, the socio-economic status (SES) and area of residence among 12-year-old schoolchildren in Uruguay. Material and methods: The study was descriptive, cross-sectional, explanatory and observational. Subjects considered eligible were born in 1999 and had their parents' or guardian's prior consent. A questionnaire was used to identify SES according to Centro de Investigaciones Economicas Institute on four levels. Dental fluorosis was determined using the Thylstrup-Fejerskov (TF) index. Results: Of the 1544 students examined, 45.0% showed dental fluorosis. A TF index 1-2 was recorded in 29.3% of the subjects, TF 3 in 20.9%, TF 4 in 6.7% and TF 5-9 in 2.1%. In area 1 (the capital Montevideo city), 84.8% of the subjects had dental fluorosis, a value that was significantly higher than in the inland region (area 2, 24.4%) and border departments (area 3, 22.5%) (x(2) = 27.92, p < .0001). Students from families with a low socio-economic level showed less prevalence of dental fluorosis than those with a high level (x(2) = 14.58, p = .002). Conclusion: Significant differences exist in the prevalence of dental fluorosis in relation to place of residence and socio-economic level.

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