Community Dental Health

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Cover Date:
March 2019
Print ISSN:
0265 539X
Electronic ISSN:

Caries-preventive efficacy of a supervised school toothbrushing programme in Northland, New Zealand


Background: Toothbrushing with fluoride toothpaste reduces the incidence of dental caries. Objective: To evaluate a supervised school
toothbrushing programme to reduce dental caries experience in children. Basic Research Design: Quasi-experimental study. All children
had routine dental examinations at baseline using the ICDAS to record dental caries, along with bitewing radiographs. Half of the children were involved in a supervised toothbrushing programme. Examinations were repeated at the end of the school year. Clinical setting:
Northland, New Zealand. Participants: 335 10-13-year-old New Zealand children with high caries experience. Interventions: Half of the
children participated in the supervised toothbrushing session each school day; the other half had no intervention. Main outcome measures:
Caries increment, determined by comparing the baseline and follow-up status of each tooth surface. Results: At baseline, there were 335
children, of whom 240 (71.6%) were followed up. The ICDAS net caries increment for those in the toothbrushing group was a mean of
11.7 surfaces improved; the control group had a mean of 8.6 surfaces which had deteriorated. Caries incidence for those in the toothbrushing group was 7.3%; that for the control group was 71.5%. Multivariate analysis showed that membership of the brushing group was
the only statistically significant predictor of a lower net caries increment. Conclusion: A supervised school toothbrushing programme can
reduce caries increment in a population experiencing high levels of dental disease.

Keywords: Supervised tooth brushing, prevention, caries, New Zealand

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Ellen Clark, Lyndie A. Foster Page, Kelly Larkins, Sophia Leon de la Barra, W. Murray Thomson

Articles from this issue

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  1. Editorial:‘No simple solutions, no single ingredient’: Systemsorientated approaches for addressing Wicked Problems in population oral health
  2. 3
  3. 4

  1. Dental Public Health in Action: The use of the NICE ten step model to conduct an oral health needs assessment in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw
  2. 5
  3. 8

  1. Caries-preventive efficacy of a supervised school toothbrushing programme in Northland, New Zealand
  2. 9
  3. 16

  1. Socioeconomic Variation in the association between Malocclusion and Oral Health Related Quality of Life
  2. 17
  3. 21

  1. Low rates of dental attendance by the age of one and inequality between local government administrative areas in England
  2. 22
  3. 26

  1. The relationship between body mass index and oral health status among Saudi adults: a cross-sectional study
  2. 27
  3. 32

  1. The acceptability of fluoride varnish and fissure sealant treatments in children aged 6-9 delivered in a school setting
  2. 33
  3. 38

  1. Interventions to reduce socio-economic inequalities in dental service utilisation – a systematic review
  2. 39
  3. 45

  1. Embarrassing realities: The portrayal of dentistry in reality tv ‘dentertainment’
  2. 46
  3. 54

  1. Systems science and oral health: Implications for Dental Public Health?
  2. 55
  3. 62

  1. The Boundaries between Caries and Periodontal Diseases. What are the Implications for Education in Dental Public Health? Proceedings of EADPH/SESPO Pre-Congress Workshop held on Wednesday, 17 October 2018 at The Centro Cultural Sa Nostra Congress Cen
  2. 63
  3. 86