Background/purpose: Taiwan government has provided population-based fluoride varnish application services for all preschool children since July 2004. This study investigated the association providing such services on dental caries experiences among schoolchildren. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on schoolchildren aged 8–9 years. A questionnaire collected information on sociodemographic background, parents' oral health status, children's oral health–related behavior, and dietary habits. Dental caries was recorded through standardized oral examinations. The number of services was retrieved from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. Univariate, multivariable linear, and logistic regression analyses were performed. Results: The study involved 1246 children. The mean dental caries indices were 3.97 for decayed, extracted, and filled teeth (deft) and 0.94 for decayed, missing and filled teeth (DMFT). After adjustments for confounding factors, it was revealed that children receiving services were not associated with significantly lower deft and DMFT indices (P > 0.05). The adjusted odds ratio (OR) for untreated primary teeth of children receiving 3 or more services was 0.64 (95% CI = 0.44–0.95) compared with those who received no services (P = 0.025). However, subgroup analyses demonstrated that children in the low-risk group were mainly affected (adjusted OR = 0.36–0.89, P = 0.013). Conclusion: This study revealed that children receiving 3 or more services were associated with a 36% decreased risk of having untreated caries in primary dentition, but these children were mainly in the low-risk group. These results illustrate real data that provides dentists and policymakers with valuable information.
- Dental caries experience
- Fluoride varnish
- Primary prevention
- Taiwan national health insurance research database