Community dentistry and oral epidemiology vol:25 issue:5 pages:352-7
The dental condition of 626 12-year-old handicapped children with mild mental or moderate to severe mental retardation or learning impairment, being 25% of the population of each of these groups, was examined in Flanders. An evaluation of oral cleanliness showed poor oral hygiene in 31.8% of the children. No significant differences were found in oral cleanliness among types of handicapping conditions. The mean DMFT score was 2.9 (s: 2.6) and DMFS score was 5.4 (s: 5.6). Almost 21% of the children were free of caries or fillings. No significant differences were found among groups of handicapped children. Handicapped children presented a low level of restorative care (restorative index score: 48.7%). Mildly mentally retarded children demonstrated the lowest restorative index (43.9%). The caries experience of first permanent molars represented the largest part of the DMFT score (64.1%). Sealants were present in 7.9% of children examined. A considerable percentage of mildly mentally retarded children and learning impaired children did not brush daily (22.1% and 20.9%) and did not receive help with toothbrushing from their parents or carers (91.0% and 94.7%, respectively).