This paper reports the prevalence and severity of caries in a group of 16-month-old American Indian children.
The study is an ongoing longitudinal study of risk factors for caries in children from a Northern Plains Tribal community. Children were examined for caries and risk factor data collected at approximately 1, 4, 8, 12, and 16 months of age. Surface-specific caries data were collected and the presence of precavitated "white spot" lesions was recorded at the subject level.
The mean age was 15.4 months for the sample of 232 children. Caries prevalence was 31.9 percent, while an additional 29.3 percent had white spot lesions only. Mean dmfs was 1.57, and ranged from 0 to 44 surfaces. Nearly 3 percent of all erupted tooth surfaces were affected and maxillary central incisors had the highest prevalence of caries (22 percent).
Among the very youngest children, dental caries prevalence was very high among these American Indian children.