Oral Health Status of Children Aged 6Â–12 Years From the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve
Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the oral health status of children aged 6–12 years old living in the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve.
Methods: The entire population of 6–12-year-olds living in the Reserve was targeted. A cross-sectional study consisting of dental examinations based on World Health Organization (WHO) 1997 criteria was performed in 2011. Dental caries, periodontal (gingival) health, oral hygiene, orthodontic status, and dental fluorosis were assessed at the children’s schools by one examiner.
Results: A total of 595 children were examined. The overall mean DMFT was 2.01 (range 0–13) and 32.9% of children had caries-free permanent teeth. The mean DMFT for 12-year-olds was 2.46. Gingival bleeding was found in 32.8% of the children and oral hygiene worsened with age. Only 8% of 12-year-olds were free of dental plaque. There was a low need for orthodontic treatment (89% of children were Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need grade 1 or 2) and only 2% had any noticeable fluorosis.
Conclusions: The oral health status of children living in the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve can be classified as quite poor, especially due to the low number of caries-free children and the high prevalence of children with gingival bleeding and poor or fair oral hygiene. Malocclusion and fluorosis do not appear to be public health problems for this population. Considering the poor economic development of the region, with bad access to dental services, special health education programmes are necessary in order to reach the WHO oral health goals for 2020.