Objective: To investigate caries prevalence and examine its relationship with socioeconomic status and oral health behavior of Vietnamese kindergarten children. Study design: The study was carried out on 1,028 children aged 2–5 years in six kindergartens in Thua Thien Hue province, Vietnam. Information about socioeconomics and oral health behaviors was collected through a self-administered questionnaire, and oral health status by clinical dental examination. Results: Clinical dental examination found that overall caries prevalence and mean dmft were 89.1% and 9.32. Caries prevalence and mean dmft increased greatly from two years to three years old, and gradually developed from three years to five years old. A logistic regression revealed that caries had an inverse relationship with mothers' educational level and a positive relationship with the habit of retaining food in the mouth for a long time in two-year-old children. Prolonged breastfeeding, more frequent sweets consumption, no thumb sucking habit, and higher modified debris index score were the risk factors for caries among three-to-five-year-old children. Conclusions: This study indicated a high prevalence of caries and related risk factors such as low mother's educational level and inappropriate oral health behavior among kindergarten children in Vietnam.

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Author notes

*Yen Hoang Thi Nguyen, DDS, Department of Oral Health Promotion, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan. Faculty of Odonto-Stomatology, Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Hue University, Hue, Vietnam.

** Masayuki Ueno, DDS, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor, Department of Oral Health Promotion, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan.

*** Takashi Zaitsu, DDS, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Oral Health Promotion, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan.

****Toai Nguyen, DDS, PhD, Associate Professor, Faculty of Odonto-Stomatology, Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Hue University, Hue, Vietnam.

***** Yoko Kawaguchi, DDS, PhD, Professor, Department of Oral Health Promotion, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan.