Table of Contents

HK J Paediatr (New Series)
Vol 19. No. 3, 2014

HK J Paediatr (New Series) 2014;19:161-168

Original Article

Dental Health of Preschool Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Hong Kong

DFY Chan, SHY Chan, HK So, AM Li, RCM Ng, N Tsang


Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were reported to have higher rates of unmet dental needs and behavioural problems that leading to dental care or oral hygiene problems. With the lack of dental services for preschool children in Hong Kong, the severity of dental problems in this group of children has not been documented locally. The aim of this study is to evaluate how well the preschool aged children with autism spectrum disorder comply with the recommendations from the dental profession, namely of tooth brushing habits, dental visits and rate of dental caries. Seventy percent of the 196 recruited children diagnosed with ASD with a mean age of 5.36 years from thirteen rehabilitation centres had established a twice daily tooth brushing habit at a mean age of 2.5 years. Eight-three of the children reported to have behavioural problems during toothbrushing. Thirty-six percent of these behavioural problems were unrelated to the toothbrushing procedure, including crying, screaming and other aggressive behaviour. Twenty-six percent suffered from dental caries of which 60% were reported as severe. Only 48% of them had visited dental services, the majority of these attending for dental checkups. Dental caries was significant higher in mother with low educational level and low-income families with children of ASD. Dental problems in this group of children are not a minor issue. A primary screening dental checkup service for preschool children with ASD especially in low-income families should be deeply considered in Hong Kong.

Keyword : Austism spectrum disorder; Dental health; Preschool children

Abstract in Chinese


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