Background: Poor oral health is often more prevalent in rural and resource-limited areas. Evaluating oral health status in these communities is the first step in ensuring adequate future health care for the population. The aim of this study was to assess the oral health status of children aged 6–12 years living in the indigenous Ngäbe-Buglé communities. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in two rural indigenous communities of Ngäbe-Buglé on San Cristobal Island in Bocas del Toro, Panama. All children between 6 and 12 years of age and attending local schools were invited to participate, and those whose parents provided oral consent were enrolled. Dental examinations were performed by one trained dentist. To describe oral health, plaque index, DMFT/dmft (decayed, missing, and filled for permanent and primary teeth) index, and developmental defects of enamel index were recorded. Orthodontic characteristics were also evaluated, assessing the prevalence of different molar classes and the prevalence of open bite, lateral crossbite, and scissor bite. Results: A total of 106 children, representing 37.3% of the child population in the age range attending local schools, were included in this study. The mean plaque index of the entire population was 2.8 (SD 0.8). Caries lesions were more common in children living in San Cristobal (80.0%) compared to those living in Valle Escondido (78.3%), p = 0.827. The mean DMFT/dmft for the entire population was 3.3 (SD 2.9). Developmental defects of enamel were recorded in 49 children (46.2%). The majority of the population had a class I molar relationship (80.0%). Anterior open bite, lateral crossbite, and anterior crossbite were found in 10.4%, 4.7%, and 2.8% of the participants, respectively. Conclusions: The oral health of children living in Ngäbe-Buglé communities is generally poor. Oral health education programs for children and adults might play a crucial role in improving the oral health status of the Ngäbe-Buglé population. In addition, the implementation of preventative measures, such as water fluoridation as well as regular toothbrushing with fluoridated toothpaste and more accessible dental care, will be essential in improving future generations’ oral health.

Oral Health Status of Ngäbe-Buglé Children in Panama: A Cross Sectional Study / E.R.C. Hagens, S.M. Preatoni, E.M. Bazzini, D. Akam, K.S. Mckalip, B. Labrot, M.G. Cagetti. - In: CHILDREN. - ISSN 2227-9067. - 10:2(2023), pp. 294.1-294.12. [10.3390/children10020294]

Oral Health Status of Ngäbe-Buglé Children in Panama: A Cross Sectional Study

M.G. Cagetti
Ultimo
2023

Abstract

Background: Poor oral health is often more prevalent in rural and resource-limited areas. Evaluating oral health status in these communities is the first step in ensuring adequate future health care for the population. The aim of this study was to assess the oral health status of children aged 6–12 years living in the indigenous Ngäbe-Buglé communities. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in two rural indigenous communities of Ngäbe-Buglé on San Cristobal Island in Bocas del Toro, Panama. All children between 6 and 12 years of age and attending local schools were invited to participate, and those whose parents provided oral consent were enrolled. Dental examinations were performed by one trained dentist. To describe oral health, plaque index, DMFT/dmft (decayed, missing, and filled for permanent and primary teeth) index, and developmental defects of enamel index were recorded. Orthodontic characteristics were also evaluated, assessing the prevalence of different molar classes and the prevalence of open bite, lateral crossbite, and scissor bite. Results: A total of 106 children, representing 37.3% of the child population in the age range attending local schools, were included in this study. The mean plaque index of the entire population was 2.8 (SD 0.8). Caries lesions were more common in children living in San Cristobal (80.0%) compared to those living in Valle Escondido (78.3%), p = 0.827. The mean DMFT/dmft for the entire population was 3.3 (SD 2.9). Developmental defects of enamel were recorded in 49 children (46.2%). The majority of the population had a class I molar relationship (80.0%). Anterior open bite, lateral crossbite, and anterior crossbite were found in 10.4%, 4.7%, and 2.8% of the participants, respectively. Conclusions: The oral health of children living in Ngäbe-Buglé communities is generally poor. Oral health education programs for children and adults might play a crucial role in improving the oral health status of the Ngäbe-Buglé population. In addition, the implementation of preventative measures, such as water fluoridation as well as regular toothbrushing with fluoridated toothpaste and more accessible dental care, will be essential in improving future generations’ oral health.
child; dental caries; epidemiology; health status disparities; public health; indigenous oral health
Settore MED/28 - Malattie Odontostomatologiche
2023
Article (author)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/953475
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