Background: There is a lack of evidence on caries prevalence among 18 years old Israeli young adults with only a scarce evidence regarding this index age group. In the last few years dental care policy in Israel underwent substantial changes and a major reform in dental services was led by the Israeli Ministry of Health, including coverage of dental care for children by the state. In addition, a cessation of community water fluoridation was in a debate. The objective of the current study was to describe prevalence of caries among 18 years old Israeli young adults and to evaluate possible associations with personal and demographic variables. Methods: The study was a cross sectional clustered survey. Participants were recruited to the study at their first day of military service. Participants completed a questionnaire for personal and demographic data, including: age, country of birth, education, and current smoking status. Then participants underwent clinical evaluation included DMFT and caries free rates. No radiographic evaluation was included in the current study. Univariate and multivariate statistical analysis were performed. Results: A total of 702 participants were included in the study, 58.4% were males. Their mean age was 19.03 ± 0.65 years, 91.3% of the participants were born in Israel. Mean DMFT was 1.95 ± 2.67, and 46.7% (n = 328) were caries free. Higher DMFT score was significantly associated with participant's parents' education, country of birth, and smoking status. Lower caries free rates were significantly associated with participant's parents' education, and smoking status. After linear regression for total DMFT, all variables were significant predictors to higher DMFT, except father's education, while logistic regression for caries free, only mother's education was found to be a significant predictor. Conclusions: The current study presents encouraging low DMFT levels. Participants in this study were not included in the dental care services reform, and did enjoy the benefits of water fluoridation, enabling the results to play an important baseline data for future reference. Additionally, results should be considered when planning intervention programs for at risk groups. Trial registration: This study was registered in ClinicalTrials.gov (Identifier No. NCT02958891, November 8th, 2016) and was approved by the IDF Institutional Review Board (#1524-2015).
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- 18 years old