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It is the most common oral disease in several Asian and Latin American countries. In Thailand, the burden of dental caries is still high despite significant efforts and contributions to public health prevention programs for dental health.The objective of this quasi experimental research was to investigate the effectiveness of dental health education programs on the dental caries status in 2 to 5 years children living in Ratchaburi Province, Thailand. Quasi-experimental study design was used with routine group (n = 84) and treatment group (n = 205). Total sample size was 289. The routine group received routine dental health education and for the treatment group, comprehensive dental health education program for 6 months duration with initial and post measurements. Questionnaires were distributed to caretakers, and dental health examinations of children were completed by three well-trained expert dentists using the WHO dmft index for dental cares condition. Standard check list form prepared by WHO dentist international experts was used to diagnose the caries status outcomes, standard structure questionnaire was used to identify caries knowledge, oral hygiene and feeding practices in preschool children.
The data were analysed using descriptive statistics, chi-square tests and independent t-tests. Dental caries prevalence was 73.2% in the treatment group and 52.4% in the routine group. The mean of the dental caries occurrence in the routine group (3.49 ± 4.818) was statistically less (p < 0.05) than that of the treatment group (4.96 ± 4.968). Even though there was no significant difference, the treatment group had higher dental caries knowledge and feeding practices and the routine group had healthier oral hygiene practices. In sum, the findings suggest that a comprehensive dental health education program needs to continue particularly for children and whole family members with a longer duration of intervention.
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