Abstract

Objective

To evaluate oral hygiene habits, decayed, missing and filled teeth (DMFT) and surfaces (DMFS), dental care, dietetic habits and anti-Streptococcus mutans salivary secretory Immunoglobulin A (SIgA) in young adults who attended a preventive programme during preschool age.

Material and methods

The study group (Baby Clinic) comprised 72 patients, aged 18-25 years, who had participated in the Baby Clinic preventive programme. The control group was age- and gender-matched. The patients were examined and unstimulated whole saliva was sampled for detection of anti-S. mutansSIgA antibodies.

Results

Control patients presented increased DMFS scores (< .05). Hygiene habits, cariogenic diet and antibody levels were not different between groups (> .05). Baby Clinic patients presented better periodontal status (< .005), less calculus (< .005) and bleeding on probing (< .005), and reported visiting dental services more regularly (< .05). Adjusted multivariate linear regression analysis demonstrated that DMFT was associated with study group (< .05), gender (< .05), parents’ education (< .05), carbohydrate intake (< .001) and levels of anti-S. mutansSIgA (< .007). DMFS was associated with time elapsed since the last visit to the dentist (< .005) and weekly carbohydrate intake (< .005).

Conclusion

Preventive programmes for preschool children positively impact on DMFS and periodontal status in young adults, but have no long-term effects on dietary or hygiene habits.

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