ISSN: 0971-9032

Current Pediatric Research

International Journal of Pediatrics


Prevalence and associated factors of dental caries among primary school children in Ethiopia: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Background: Dental caries affect all age groups globally; particularly primary school children are affected to a greater magnitude; accounts for 60%-90%. Despite many fragmented studies reported so far in Ethiopia, a study representing the national level of dental caries is lacking and their reports for evidence-based interventions were contradictory and inconclusive for policymakers. Therefore, the aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to estimate the overall prevalence of dental caries and its associated factors in Ethiopia among primary school children. Methods: This review was reported according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis Protocol (PRISMA-P) guideline. We systematically searched the he international reputable databases (i.e., PubMed/MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, Google Scholar, and Science Direct) to identify potentially relevant studies. To analyze the data, STATATM Version 14.1 was used. The findings were described in a forest plot using descriptive summaries. To determine heterogeneity and reporting bias, the Cochrane Q and I2 test, and Egger 's test were used respectively. Pooled prevalence and pooled odd ratios were estimated with confidence intervals of 95%. Finally, a random effects meta-analysis model was calculated to estimate the pooled prevalence of dental caries. Results: From 11 studies with a total of 5179 participants, the overall pooled estimation of the prevalence of dental caries among children in Ethiopia was found to be 41.77% (95% CI: 33.41, 50.13%). Children under 10 years of age (OR: 3.75; 95% CI: 1.16, 16.19), Consumption of tea and coffee with sugar (OR: 2.29; 95%CI: 1.61, 3.26), consumption of sweet foods (OR: 2.96; 95% CI: 2.09, 4.19) consumption of soft drinks (OR:2.27; 95% CI: 1.55, 3.32) and Children who haven't cleaned their teeth (OR: 2.6; 95% CI: 3.22, 5.79) had increased odds of dental caries. Conclusion: The prevalence of dental caries among children was comparatively high in Ethiopia and considered to be a public health problem. The associated factors of dental caries were found to be age of children, consumption of sugared foods, consumption of sweet foods, consumption of soft drinks and not cleaning teeth. Preventive measures, such as health education on oral hygiene, eating practices and the importance of dental visits, are therefore essential to prevent and control dental caries. Early diagnosis and treatment will also prevent further damage.

Author(s): Yoseph Merkeb Alamneh*, Fentahun Adane

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