Objectives Early childhood caries (ECC) is a common oral disease among young Korean children. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of ECC with preschool children's oral health behavior and caregivers' oral health in Ulsan, Korea. Methods In 2006, cross-sectional survey of 1214 children under 6 years old and their care givers were surveyed. Two dentists examined according to the WHO criteria. Outcome variable was ECC, and explanatory variables were preschool children's oral health behavior and caregivers' oral health. The chi-square test and multiple log-binomial regression models were performed. Results The prevalence of simple ECC was 47.5% and that of severe ECC was 34.8%. In bivariate analysis, ECC prevalence was increased according to children's age, caregiver's age, and type of housing. In multiple log-binomial regression models, preschool children's irregular oral checkup [prevalence ratio (PR): 1.7 for simple ECC and 1.8 for severe ECC] and frequent snack and soda drinking (PR: 1.2 for simple ECC, and 1.6 for severe ECC) were significant factors. Conclusions This study demonstrates that the prevalence of ECC was high among Korean children. Early intervention programs for preschool children's oral health behavior should be developed based on the risk factors identified in this study.
- dental health promotion
- early childhood caries