Supplementary Material for: Early Caries Predicts Low Oral Health-Related Quality of Life at a Later Age

Oral health-related quality of life (OHRQOL) is the perceived impact of one's own oral health on daily life. Oral diseases influence children's OHRQOL directly, but OHRQOL might also be related to oral health experiences from the past. We investigate the relation between dental caries at the age of 6 with OHRQOL assessed at the age of 10. This study was conducted within the Generation R Study, a population-based prospective cohort study. Caries experience was assessed with the decayed, missing, and filled teeth index (dmft) at a median age of 6.09 years (90% range: 5.73-6.80). OHRQOL was assessed with a short form of the Child Oral Health Impact Profile at the children's age of 9.79 years (9.49-10.44). In total, 2,833 children participated in this study, of whom 472 (16.6%) had mild caries (dmft 1-3) and 228 (8.0%) had severe caries (dmft >3). The higher the dmft score at the age of 6, the lower the OHRQOL at the age of 10 (p < 0.001). The children with severe caries at the age of 6 had significantly higher odds of being in the lowest OHRQOL quartile at the age of 10 (OR = 1.69; 95% CI: 1.17-2.45). Our study highlights the importance of oral health during childhood, because those who get a compromised start to oral health are much more likely to follow a trajectory which will lead to poor oral health (-related QOL) later. OHRQOL is not only related to current oral health experiences but also to oral health experiences from the past.