Evaluation of Pacific Islands Early Childhood Caries Prevention Project: Republic of the Marshall Islands

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Abstract

Objectives:

This communication reports an outcomes evaluation of the Pacific Islands Early Childhood Caries Prevention Project.

Methods:

The evaluation includes children in three conditions: a) topical fluoride varnish three times per school year; b) varnish plus twice-per-day toothbrushing; and c) intervention 2 plus three-times-per-day xylitol containing gummy bear snacks at school and home visits to encourage parental involvement. For this evaluation, groups 2 and 3 have been combined.

Results:

One year after project implementation, mean decayed, extracted, or filled primary teeth was 10.3 [standard deviation (SD) = 4.3] teeth for group 1, and 8.2 (SD = 4.0) teeth for the combination of groups 2 and 3 (P < 0.05). Twenty-four percent of group 1 had cavitated lesions in any permanent molar versus 12.8 percent in groups 2 and 3 combined (P > 0.05).

Conclusion:

Evaluation confirms the outcome of a program including both in-school twice-daily toothbrushing with fluoridated toothpaste and frequent applications of fluoride varnish.

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