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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 34-38

Dietary consumption and its association with dental caries in schoolchildren in Benghazi, Libya

Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Benghazi, Benghazi, Libya

Correspondence Address:
Ahmed Musrati
Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Benghazi, Benghazi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/dmr.dmr_43_20

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Introduction: Dental caries is a common public health problem among schoolchildren. Diet can affect oral health via many ways. Several researches have established that dietary factors are directly related to dental caries. Aims: To investigate the prevalence of dental caries in a group of schoolchildren in Benghazi, Libya, and its possible association with gender and diet. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study design was used among public schoolchildren in Benghazi, Libya. A random sample of 12-year-old school children within randomly selected schools underwent dental examination and completed a questionnaire to provide dietary data. This questionnaire was based on the one previously used in the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (2000). Dental caries was assessed using the World Health Organization criteria. Associations between caries and dietary variables under study were investigated through processes of bivariate and multivariate analyses. Results: About 62% had experience of dental caries. A higher experience of caries was observed among girls than boys (Fisher's exact test; P < 0.05). Consumption frequency of sugared drinks and foods was higher in girls (P < 0.001). Conclusions: Over two-thirds of the subjects had dental caries. The high level of dental caries is a cause for concern. Interestingly, more caries was noticed in girls than in boys. Apparently, sugared drinks, which were consumed more by girls, were the main source of total dietary sugared consumption. The consumption of sugared drinks was high, and efforts are required to reduce it.

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