The dental health of 12-year-old children whose diets include canned fruit from local factories: an added risk for caries?

van Wyk W. ; Stander I. ; van Wyk I. (2001)


OBJECTIVE: To determine the dental health of 12-year-old children from households that are supplied with sweetened canned fruit from local factories. METHODS: The DMFS and DMFT indices were determined for 12-year-old pupils from 6 schools, 3 of which are situated in communities with fruit canning factories. Subjects were questioned about the workplace of household members and supplies of sweetened canned fruit from factories. To compare indices we used a two-way analysis of variance, for multiple comparisons the Bonferroni Test and for proportions the Chi-Squared Test. Fluoride content of the drinking water was measured for each school. RESULTS: The fluoride content for all schools was less than 0.1 ppm. In only 2 schools were the majority of pupils from households that were supplied regularly with canned fruit from factories. An analysis of the DMFT data of the children in all the schools showed that there were significantly fewer children with a DMFT = 0 and significantly more with a DMFT = 4+ in the 2 schools. The mean DMFS and DMFT of children in households supplied with canned fruit were significantly higher than those children without the supply. CONCLUSION: The supply of sweetened canned fruit to households may be an added risk to dental health for the children in that household.

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