To determine the prevalence of dental erosion and its association to commonly used beverages and snacks among 3 to 5 year old preschool children in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Three hundred eighty-eight preschool children between 3 and 5 years old were selected from 10 different schools using a cluster random sample selection; there were 184 (47%) boys and 204 (53%) girls. The surfaces of each tooth were examined for erosion, and the level of tooth wear was recorded. Data on the frequently used beverages and snacks were obtained by questionnaires completed by the parents of the preschool children.
Among the 388 children examined, 47% exhibited low erosion, 10% exhibited moderate erosion and 4% exhibited severe erosion. There was no statistically significant difference between boys and girls in terms of the prevalence of erosion. Sixty percent of the children regularly consumed juice drinks. Among daily consumers, 84% of children showed erosion prevalence with strongly significant association (p < 0.005). Holding the drink in the mouth also showed a significant association with erosion (p < 0.02).
It was concluded that an association was found between the prevalence of dental erosion and the frequency of citrus and carbonated juice consumed by the preschool children in Saudi Arabia.