J Korean Acad Oral Health.  2023 Jun;47(2):62-72. 10.11149/jkaoh.2023.47.2.65.

The analysis of the risk factors for dental caries in Korean children and adolescents: a cross-sectional study

  • 1Department of Preventive and Public Health Dentistry, College of Dentistry & Research Institute of Oral Science, Gangneung-Wonju National University, Gangneung, Korea


The purpose of this study was to assess the association between the prevalence of dental caries and the risk factors using data from the 7th National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) for improving the dental caries risk assessment model in child continuing care program from the registered dentists.
The oral examination integrated data of the 7th wave (2016-2018) were downloaded from KNHANES website. The subjects of analysis were children ages 1 to 5 years for the primary teeth caries and children ages 6 to 18 years for permanent teeth caries. Dental caries risk factors included socio-demographic status (age, gender, region, household income), oral health behaviors (brushing teeth frequency, brushing teeth before bed, daily intake of sugar), dental care utilization (dental examination, preventive dental care, unmet dental needs), and the prevalence of dental caries in the parents. Complex samples logistic regression models were used to analyze the data.
While the dental caries of children and adolescents were associated with age and gender, it was not associated with region and household income. In addition, there was no association between brushing teeth and dental caries, but it was found between daily sugar intake and primary teeth caries. The association between unmet dental needs and dental caries was clear, and the primary teeth caries were associated with dental examination or preventive dental care. The prevalence of dental caries in the parents was associated with primary and permanent dental caries in their children, respectively.
Although the results of this study were obtained from the representative data in the national level, the evidence was limited because of cross-sectional study. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct follow-up studies, such as a cohort study or clinical trial for the development of dental caries assessment model that are evidence-based.


Child; Dental care; Dental caries; Health behavior; Population characteristics; Risk factors
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