Background: Molar incisor hypomineralization (MIH) frequently occurs in children worldwide. However, MIH prevalence throughout Japan has not yet been investigated. The purpose of this study was to clarify MIH prevalence rates and to consider potential regional differences throughout Japan. Methods: A total of 4496 children aged 7-9 years throughout Japan were evaluated in this study. MIH prevalence rates among children were evaluated in eight regions throughout Japan. A child's residence was defined as the mother's residence during pregnancy. The localization of demarcated opacities and enamel breakdown was recorded on a standard code form using a guided record chart. Logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate whether MIH prevalence rates differed among age groups, sex, and regions. Results: The overall prevalence of MIH in Japan was 19.8%. The prevalence of MIH was 14.0% in the Hokkaido region, 11.7% in the Tohoku region, 18.5% in the Kanto Shin-Etsu region, 19.3% in the Tokai Hokuriku region, 22.3% in the Kinki region, 19.8% in the Chugoku region, 28.1% in the Shikoku region, and 25.3% in the Kyushu region. These regional differences were statistically significant. Moreover, MIH prevalence rates decreased with age. No significant sex differences in MIH prevalence rates were demonstrated. Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first MIH study carried out in several regions throughout Japan. Regional differences existed in MIH prevalence rates; particularly, MIH occurred more frequently in children residing in southwestern areas than those in northeastern areas of Japan.
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