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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-4

Screening for caries activity among preschool children of Anganwadi centers in a North Indian City

1 Centre for Public Health, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India
2 School of Public Health, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
3 Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Sonika Raj
Panjab University, Chandigarh
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Source of Support: The support of National Rural Health Mission, Chandigarh for providing financial support., Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0976-433X.149551

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Introduction: The incidence of dental caries is as high as 70% among preschool children. There are various screening tests used globally in different settings to diagnose caries activity among preschool children. Snyder test is one such test, which is sufficiently accurate and sensitive for estimation of caries activity in field settings. Objective: The aim was to assess the change in caries activity level of preschool children by Snyder test after providing oral hygiene training to Anganwadi workers (AWWs). Materials and Methods: This before and after comparison study was conducted in year 2010 among Anganwadi centers (AWCs) of Chandigarh, a North Indian City. A total of 495 children aged 3-6 years from 21 AWCs were randomly selected. The prevalence of dental caries was recorded based on decayed, missing, filled teeth index using codes and criteria as described by WHO. The saliva samples (0.2 ml) of children were taken in tubes with Snyder media to detect caries activity. The readings were taken at 24, 48 and 72 h to detect the color change in media. AWWs were provided with oral hygiene training who then educated children and their parents. Post training data regarding caries activity using Snyder test was again collected after 3 months. Results: Caries activity among children decreased from 48.2% pretraining to 31.2% posttraining. The positive caries activity level at 48 and 72 h showed statistically significant decline after training when compared to the baseline level. Prevalence of caries based on WHO criteria (48.3%) was in concordance to Snyder test results (48.2%) at the end of 72 h. Conclusion: Snyder test could be used to detect the caries activity of children in field settings. Snyder test will diagnose highly susceptible children for caries that in-turn will assist in prioritizing the dental care and management.

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