Environmental, socio-behavioural and biological predictors of early childhood caries: a rural birth cohort study [ 2008 - 2009 ]

Also known as: Predictors of early childhood caries: a rural birth cohort study.

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: Prof Elizabeth Waters (Principal investigator) ,  A/Pr Andrea De Silva A/Pr Mark Gussy Prof Sing Lo Prof Stuart Dashper

Brief description In Australia, up to 75% of children have dental decay at five years of age. It is substantially worse in rural parts of Australia, where fluoride is not added to the water supply. Also, the rate of caries increases as socioeconomic status decreases. This study aims to describe the natural history of dental caries from birth to 18 months. It will also examine the environment, behaviours and biology that these infants are exposed to. This data has never been collected before and will therefore provide a unique contribution to our knowledge and understanding of the development of dental decay in young children. This data is crucial for the development of interventions to prevent dental decay and address health inequalities. The study will examine infants teeth as they come into their mouths and collect questionnaire and saliva data from parents and infants following birth at 1, 6, 12 and 18 months. It is a partnership between the maternal and child health nurses of the western rural areas of Victoria (Ballarat, Ararat, Stawell and Horsham) and a national team of child health, dental researchers and statisticians drawn from the School of Health and Social Development at Deakin University, the Murdoch Children's Research Institute and The Royal Children's Hospital's Department of Paediatric Dentistry, The University of Melbourne, The University of Western Australia, Griffith University and the Queensland Government. The proposed study will make a substantial contribution to the understanding of early childhood caries by providing unique data on its natural history, the relationship between caries and risk and protective factors and the relative contribution of these factors to dental decay. Additionaly, it will include the latest measurement developments for quantifying microflora species and clinical caries outcomes. The comprehensiveness of this approach has been called for internationally, but has not yet been attempted.

Funding Amount $AUD 495,432.96

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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