The prevention of dental caries and dental health of 12-year-old children in Żywiec District in Silesian Voivodeship – a Polish experience
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Department of Basic Biomedical Science, School of Pharmacy with the Division of Laboratory Medicine in Sosnowiec, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
Corresponding author
Magdalena Hartman-Petrycka   

Katedra i Zakład Podstawowych Nauk Biomedycznych, Wydział Farmaceutyczny z Oddziałem Medycyny Laboratoryjnej w Sosnowcu, Śląski Uniwersytet Medyczny w Katowicach, ul. Kasztanowa 3, 41-205 Sosnowiec
Ann. Acad. Med. Siles. 2019;73:163-173
To counteract tooth decay in the Żywiec area, the local authorities implemented a health programme aimed at children from 4 to 15 years of age. The programme included educational and preventive actions (oral examinations and the sealing of I and II permanent molars). The aim of this study was to measure the effectiveness of the health programme.

Material and methods:
The 12-year-olds who participated in the study were from: the town of Żywiec and covered by the Programme (P group; n = 441); the town of Żywiec, but not covered by the Programme (CT group; n = 131) and non-participants in the Programme from the countryside around Żywiec (CR group; n = 135). The effectiveness of the programme was measured by analysing a survey evaluating the children’s awareness of oral health and an examination of their teeth, in particular, the first and second permanent molars.

The children from Group P were more knowledgeable (p < 0.001), had a lower frequency of decay in their permanent teeth (p < 0.001), lower than average values for DMFT (1.3; p < 0.001) and DMFS (1.4; p < 0.001), lower rates of SiC (3.2; p < 0.001) and higher rates of preventive sealant on I (p < 0.001) and II (p < 0.001) molars, than in both control groups. For comparison, Group CT: DMFT = 4.5, DMFS = 5.2, SiC = 7.2; and group CR: DMFT = 3.5, DMFS = 4.3, SiC = 7.0. The treatment index in Group CR (0.44) was much lower than in Groups P (0.80) and CT (0.76).

Implementing a preventative programme of this nature could bring benefits not only in Poland but also in countries where the state of oral health is very low.

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