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Associations between Diet, Dietary and Oral Hygiene Habits with Caries Occurrence and Severity in Children with Autism at Dammam City, Saudi Arabia.

Open Access Maced J Med Sci. 2018 Jun 20;6(6):1104-1110

Authors: Kotha SB, AlFaraj NSM, Ramdan TH, Alsalam MA, Al Ameer MJ, Almuzin ZM

AIM: The purpose of the study is to achieve the baseline information of the autistic child’s oral health status about the diet, dietary and hygiene habits. The association of these factors with dental caries were assessed.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The survey was composed of self-administered questionnaires to parents about their children’s’ demographic data followed by questions related to diet, dietary and hygiene habits. This is later followed by oral examination for estimating the decayed, missing and filled [dmft] scores as per WHO norms. The variables are analysed using t-tests and ANOVA. Pearson’s correlation coefficients were calculated for each of the independent variables to examine for autocorrelation.
RESULTS: The mean age for the present study is 5.8 years with more predilections of caries in females. The autistic children prefer soft diet and pouch it in oral cavity resulting in increased caries though not significant. Other foods like nuts and pulses confectioneries and soft drinks resulted in increased caries, and our study shows significant relation. Consumption of sugars between meals and increased quantity of sugar per day also increased dental caries with highly significant results in our study. Hygiene habits also made a difference in the occurrence of caries though, in our study, it’s not significant.
CONCLUSIONS: The study suggests that the oral health education programs should be conducted for the parents, caregivers and the teachers about the diet, dietary and the hygiene habits and the role they play in maintaining the oral hygiene.

PMID: 29983812 [PubMed]

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