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Pediatría (Asunción)

On-line version ISSN 1683-9803


MOREL-BARRIOS, Milner; DIAZ-REISSNER, Clarisse  and  QUINTANA-MOLINAS, María Elida. Knowledge level of oral health and rates of caries in adolescents from a school in Pirayú, Paraguay. Pediatr. (Asunción) [online]. 2018, vol.45, n.3, pp.212-216. ISSN 1683-9803.


Dental caries continues to be a public health problem in underdeveloped countries and is one of the most important causes of oral dental problems in adolescence. Having knowledge regarding oral health care has been associated with improved oral health status.


To correlate the level of knowledge regarding oral health with the rate of dental caries in adolescents aged 12 to 15 years, enrolled in Basic School No.80 "General José Eduvigis Díaz" in Pirayú (Paraguay), in 2016.

Materials and Methods:

This was a cross-sectional study.. A clinical evaluation was performed using the DMF-T Index plus 12 questions about oral health knowledge. The scale of scores was from 0 to 28, where high values ​​indicated greater knowledge and scores of 60% were considered sufficient knowledge. Student's t test and Mann-Whitney U test were applied, with a confidence level of 95%.


70 adolescents participated, 62.9% were male and 37.1% were female. The DMF-T index was 2.24 and the caries index was 1.17. 42.8% of adolescents presented with at least one lost tooth. 93.98% of dental losses corresponded to permanent first molars. The average knowledge score was 17.31 (SD = 4.48). 54.3 % had a sufficient knowledge level.


The level of knowledge was not related to the caries index or the DMF-T index, the level of caries severity was low risk, but slightly less than half had lost at least one permanent tooth. The level of knowledge about oral health sufficient in little more than half of the subjects. Primary and secondary prevention programs should be reinforced in order to avoid dental losses at such an early age.

Keywords : Dental caries; knowledge; adolescents; oral Health; Paraguay.

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