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International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry 2010; 20: 151–157

Background.  Caries is still a prevalent condition in 5-year-old children. At present, knowledge regarding some aetiological factors, like deciduous molar hypomineralization (DMH), is limited.

Aim.  To investigate aetiological factors both directly and indirectly associated with caries in second primary molars.

Design.  Of 974 children invited to participate in the study, 386 children were examined clinically with visual detection of caries. Only carious lesions determined to have reached the dentine were recorded. Information about tooth brushing frequency, education level of the mother, and country of birth of mother and child, was collected by means of a multiple-choice questionnaire. Parents of 452 children filled in the questionnaire. Complete clinical and questionnaire data were available for 242 children. Statistical analysis of the effect of the independent variables was undertaken using the Pearson’s chi-squared test.

Results.  Deciduous molar hypomineralization (P = 0.02) and the country of birth of the mother (P < 0.001) were positively associated with caries prevalence.

Conclusions.  Deciduous molar hypomineralization and the country of birth of the mother play a role in the prevalence of dental caries. These aetiological factors associated with childhood dental caries need to be investigated further in longitudinal clinical trials.