Oral Health Behavior: Prevalence and Pattern of Dental Caries In 11–16-year-old Children of Various Socioeconomic Strata


  • Panjab University, Department of Pedodontics, Dr. HSJ Institute of Dental Sciences, Chandigarh, India
  • Panjab University Extension Library, Department of Pedodontics, Dr. HSJ Institute of Dental Sciences, Chandigarh, India
  • Panjab University, Department of Oral Pathology, Dr. HSJ Institute of Dental Sciences, Chandigarh, India
  • Panjab University, Department of Public Health Dentistry, Dr. HSJ Institute of Dental Sciences, Chandigarh, India
  • Panjab University, Department of Pedodontics, Dr. HSJ Institute of Dental Sciences,, Chandigarh, India
  • PGIMER, Department of Pedodontics, Oral Health Sciences Center, Chandigarh, India


Objectives: To evaluate the oral health behavior, prevalence and pattern of dental caries in 11–16-year-old children of various socioeconomic strata in a north-western Indian city were determined. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted on 2294 children across two age groups— 11–13 and 14–16 years—using a WHO oral health questionnaire and a WHO oral health assessment form-2013 to record the oral health behavior and dental caries, respectively. The revised Kuppuswamy socioeconomic scale determined the socioeconomic status. Results: Dental caries was observed in 60% children of the upper socioeconomic strata (mean DMFT of 2.00 ± 2.35), 68% in the upper middle strata (mean DMFT 2.40 ± 2.54), 73.3% in the lower middle strata (mean DMFT 2.75 ± 2.81), and 83.7% in the lower strata (mean DMFT 3.93 ± 3.07). DMFT was significantly more (a) in girls than in boys and also (b) in the older 14–16-year age group compared to the 11–13-year age group. Conclusions: The study has shown a 73.2% prevalence of dental caries (mean DMFT 2.93 ± 2.86), an inverse correlation of caries with socioeconomic status, and higher DMFT in girls and in the older age group. Implementation of regular school dental health programs, promotion of healthy dietary habits, and a proactive regular involvement of parents, teachers, and community will promote good oral health.


Behavior, Children, Dental caries, Prevalence, Socioeconomic status

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