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International Journal of Dentistry
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 351231, 10 pages
Research Article

Malocclusion in Elementary School Children in Beirut: Severity and Related Social/Behavioral Factors

1Division of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon
2Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
3Private Practice, Beirut, Lebanon

Received 7 August 2014; Accepted 26 November 2014

Academic Editor: James K. Hartsfield

Copyright © 2015 Antoine Hanna et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aim. To assess severity of malocclusion in Lebanese elementary school children and the relationship between components of malocclusion and sociodemographic and behavioral factors. Methods. Dental screening was performed on 655 school children aged 6–11 from 2 public (PB) and 5 private (PV) schools in Beirut. A calibrated examiner recorded occlusion, overjet, overbite, posterior crossbite, midline diastema, and crowding. Another examiner determined the DMFT (Decayed/Missing/Filled Teeth) score. A questionnaire filled by the parents provided data on sociodemographic and behavioral factors. Multinomial, binomial, and multiple linear regressions tested the association of these factors with occlusal indices. Results. Malocclusion was more severe in PB students. Age and sucking habit were associated with various components of malocclusion. Crowding was more prevalent among males and significantly associated with the DMFT score. Income and educational level were significantly higher in PV pupils and deleterious habits were more frequent in PB children. Conclusions. Children of lower socioeconomic background had more severe malocclusions and poorer general dental health. Compared to Western and WHO norms, the findings prompt health policy suggestions to improve dental care of particularly public school children through regular screenings in schools, prevention methods when applicable, and cost effective practices through public and private enabling agencies.