Korea, Republic of - Community based caries prevention programme in a suburban area

By J. Stjernswärd


The Hapcheon county public health centre initiated a caries prevention programme where all the schoolchildren in Hapcheon county benefit from receiving free fissure sealants on molars and premolars (13 years since 2009). In addition, water in this county is fluoridated (9 years since 2009). About 90% of children in South Korea are estimated to use fluoridated toothpaste.


In the Hapcheon county in South Korea, since 1986, schoolchildren received free fissure sealants on the premolars and molars. The water in this county is fluoridated since year 2000. In order to assess the impact of this community caries prevention programme, 1528 children between 6-12 years were examined in 2009 in Hapcheon county, for the presence of caries by two calibrated dentists who took part in the National oral health survey in 2006.

Programme Outline
All the children in the Hapcheon county received sealants free of charge in the public health centre.

Sealant by Dentist

Sealant by oral hygienist


Caries prevalence was 15.9%, 33.2% and 42.5% among 8, 10 and 12 year old children respectively in Hapcheon county (200), when compared to 30.3%, 42.0% and 68.7% among same aged South Korean national data (2006) for suburban children.

DMFT figures were 0.3, 0.7 and 1.1 among 8, 10 and 12 year olds in Hapcheon county (2009) when compared to the same age groups of South Korean national suburban areas which were 0.6, 0.8 and 2.6 respectively (2006).

Caries prevalence (%) and DMFT for different age groups in Hapcheon county and South Korea

Age Prevalence (%) DMFT Area
8 years 15.9 0.3 Hapcheon County
30.3 0.6 South Korea
10 years 33.2 0.7 Hapcheon County
42.6 0.8 South Korea
12 years 42.5 1.1 Hapcheon County
68.7 2.6 South Korea

Caries reduction rate of children aged 12 years was estimated as 58.8%.


Caries among children in Hapcheon county declined by this community oral health programme composed of free sealant placements and water fluoridation programme implemented by the public health centre in Hapcheon county.

Kim JB, Han DH, Lee SM, Kim MJ, Jun EJ. Decline of dental caries by community caries prevention program in suburban area. Caries Res 2011;45:204. (58th Annual ORCA Congress Abstract).
Han DH, Kim JB, Park DY. The decline in dental caries among children of different ages in Korea, 2000-2006. Int Dent J. 2010;60:329-335.


We thank Dr Jin-Bom KIM, Pusan National University, South Korea, for the pictures.