Effect of health promotion and fluoride varnish on dental caries among Australian Aboriginal children

results from a community-randomized controlled trial

Gary Slade, Ross Stewart Bailie, Kaye Roberts-Thomson, Amanda Leach, Iris Raye, C Endean, B Simmons, Peter Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: We tested a dental health program in remote Aboriginal communities of Australia's Northern Territory, hypothesizing that it would reduce dental caries in preschool children.

Methods: In this 2-year, prospective, cluster-randomized, concurrent controlled, open trial of the dental health program compared to no such program, 30 communities were allocated at random to intervention and control groups. All residents aged 18-47 months were invited to participate. Twice per year for 2 years in the 15 intervention communities, fluoride varnish was applied to children's teeth, water consumption and daily tooth cleaning with toothpaste were advocated, dental health was promoted in community settings, and primary health care workers were trained in preventive dental care. Data from dental examinations at baseline and after 2 years were used to compute net dental caries increment per child (d 3mfs). A multi-level statistical model compared d3mfs between intervention and control groups with adjustment for the clustered randomization design; four other models used additional variables for adjustment.

Results:
At baseline, 666 children were examined; 543 of them (82%) were re-examined 2 years later. The adjusted d3mfs increment was significantly lower in the intervention group compared to the control group by an average of 3.0 surfaces per child (95% CI = 1.2, 4.9), a prevented fraction of 31%. Adjustment for additional variables yielded caries reductions ranging from 2.3 to 3.5 surfaces per child and prevented fractions of 24-36%.

Conclusions:
These results corroborate findings from other studies where fluoride varnish was efficacious in preventing dental caries in young children. � 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-43
Number of pages15
JournalCommunity Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Volume39
Issue number1
Early online date12 Jan 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011

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Topical Fluorides
Dental Caries
Health Promotion
Tooth
Randomized Controlled Trials
Control Groups
Health
Northern Territory
Toothpastes
Social Adjustment
Community Health Services
Preventive Medicine
Dental Care
Statistical Models
Preschool Children
Random Allocation
Nuclear Family
Drinking
Primary Health Care

Cite this

Slade, Gary ; Bailie, Ross Stewart ; Roberts-Thomson, Kaye ; Leach, Amanda ; Raye, Iris ; Endean, C ; Simmons, B ; Morris, Peter. / Effect of health promotion and fluoride varnish on dental caries among Australian Aboriginal children : results from a community-randomized controlled trial. In: Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology. 2011 ; Vol. 39, No. 1. pp. 29-43.
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Effect of health promotion and fluoride varnish on dental caries among Australian Aboriginal children : results from a community-randomized controlled trial. / Slade, Gary; Bailie, Ross Stewart; Roberts-Thomson, Kaye; Leach, Amanda; Raye, Iris; Endean, C; Simmons, B; Morris, Peter.

In: Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, Vol. 39, No. 1, 01.02.2011, p. 29-43.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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