Background: The study was conducted to assess the prevalence of dental caries among the general children population of Kashmir. The main objective of the study was to evaluate the association of dental caries with that of oral hygiene status, socio-economic status, and dental service availabilities. Methods: A Cross- sectional study of total 300 subjects was done. Decayed, filled, and missing teeth (DMFT), oral hygiene status, Socio-economic status and availability of dental care facility were recorded. A self-made performa was used to record the data. Results: Comparison of mean DMFT status was evaluated which revealed a high tendency towards decayed teeth in children of age group 3-12 years. Mean DMFT score was found to be around 4.42 Maximum DMFT was recorded among 12 years age group, followed closely 3-5 years. Prevalence of increased caries was seen in subjects with poor oral hygiene and belonging to low socioeconomic status. Rate of caries was also found to be high in areas with a lack of dental care facilities. Conclusion: Oral hygiene practices, dietary habits and access to dental care were found to play an important role in the prevalence of dental caries. It was also observed that socioeconomic status of the subject plays a significant role in access to dental care facilities.
Keywords: Dental caries, oral hygiene, prevalence, socio-economic status.