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Objective: To evaluate the usefulness of plaque disclosing gel for predicting caries risk in schoolchildren.
Material and methods: Clinical examination of children was conducted to assess dental caries experience and stimulated salivary was collected to assess salivary flow rate and buffer capacity. Plaque disclosing gel was applied onto the tooth surfaces to identify the plaque type by observing the gel color. Information on dietary and oral hygiene habits was obtained via questionnaire-guided interviews. The data were analyzed by descriptive statistics, Chi-square test and multiple logistic regression analysis.
Results: A total of 125 9- to 16-year-olds form 6 schools in Bangkok were recruited into the study. Caries prevalence for the whole group was 60.0%. Children with caries had a significantly lower salivary flow rate and higher levels of strong acid producing plaque compared with caries-free children. Caries risk was increased in the presence of strong acid producing plaque with a sensitivity/specificity of 78.4%/44%. The Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness-of-fit test indicated that the model was also well calibrated (p= 0.915); the area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was 0.677.
Conclusions: The determination of plaque type is useful for identifying caries risk in schoolchildren. Using plaque disclosing gel might be practical and useful for screening high caries-risk schoolchildren.
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