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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 7-9

Oral hygiene awareness among school children of rural Mangalore

Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Dental College and Hospital, Pimpri, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication31-Jan-2014

Correspondence Address:
Ananth Kamath
Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Dental College and Hospital, Pimpri, Pune, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2348-3172.126156

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Aim: The aim of the survey was to assess awareness regarding oral hygiene practice amongst children toward oral health in rural population of Mangalore city. Materials and Methods: The survey was carried out among 2636 children (boys: 1508 and girls: 1128) who were in the age group of 5-12 years studying in various schools of rural Mangalore. Data on oral hygiene practice were collected by means of self-administered questionnaire. Results: This survey found that 52% children brush their teeth twice a day and 98.9% children brushed in horizontal direction. Other oral hygiene aids were sparsely used (5.3%). None of the school children had any form of interactive sessions on oral hygiene practice with their respective class teacher. Conclusion: Results of the study suggest that basic oral hygiene knowledge and practice of the study participants was good but advanced knowledge needs to be improved. Systematic community-oriented oral health promotion programs and awareness amongst teachers are needed to improve oral health of school children.

Keywords: Knowledge, oral health practice, teachers

How to cite this article:
Kamath A, Bijle MA, Walimbe H, Patil V. Oral hygiene awareness among school children of rural Mangalore. J Dent Res Rev 2014;1:7-9

How to cite this URL:
Kamath A, Bijle MA, Walimbe H, Patil V. Oral hygiene awareness among school children of rural Mangalore. J Dent Res Rev [serial online] 2014 [cited 2023 Mar 30];1:7-9. Available from: https://www.jdrr.org/text.asp?2014/1/1/7/126156

  Introduction Top

Health is a universal human need for all cultural groups. General health cannot be attained or maintained without oral health. The mouth is regarded as the mirror of the body and the gateway to good health.

In the low income countries, the most prevalent oral disease of public health concern is dental caries. The increase in the prevalence of dental caries has been attributed to factors such as high sugar consumption, a shift to westernized diet, socioeconomic status, the rate of urbanization, and the mother's level of education. These factors may be influenced by economic transition. Economic improvement in a low income country like India may have an effect on dental health. [1]

Today, various types of oral health maintenance material have been used and countless number of dental health information programs has been conducted in schools and other settings. However, these efforts will not succeed in influencing of oral health; hence, the attainment of good oral health is based upon the awareness of good dietary habits and oral hygiene practices. [2]

During the past two decades, many industrialized countries have experienced a dramatic decline in dental caries prevalence of children and adolescents. The reason for the improved oral health are complete but may involve a more sensible approach to sugar consumption, improved oral hygiene practice, fluoride in toothpaste, topical fluoride application, effective use of oral health services, and establishment of school-based preventive program. [3]

Oral health care for the young child has potential to contribute to the wellbeing of both child and family. Care of primary dentition should be considered as no less important than that of permanent teeth in maintaining esthetic and function, preventing pain and sepsis and promoting well being. It has an additional significance in protecting development of the permanent dentition and preventing malocclusion. [4]

Hence, a survey was carried to know the oral hygiene practice awareness amongst the rural children.

  Materials and Methods Top

A total of 2636 children, aged between 6 to 15 years, from rural schools of in and around Mangalore, belonging to same socioeconomic status was part of the survey. Of 2636 children, 1508 were boys and 1128 were girls. Information about the type of oral hygiene practice and their knowledge about their preventive and emergency care was obtained using a questionnaire.

  Results Top

Of 2636 children, 48% children brushed once a day and the remaining 52% brushed twice daily. 78.6% of the girls and only 46.6% of boys brushed twice daily. 97.6% of children used tooth brush and tooth paste and the remaining 2.4% of children used tooth brush and tooth powder, none of the children used Neem sticks or their fingers for brushing. 98.9% of the children used horizontal strokes for brushing compared to 1.03% of children who used vertical strokes for brushing. 5.2% of children used other oral hygiene aids like tongue cleaner, dental floss for brushing. None of the schools thought any form of oral hygiene practice to the students (0%). Majority of the students (99.3%) told that oral hygiene practices were taught to them by their parents and for the remaining 0.7% students by their grandparents [Table 1], [Figure 1].
Table 1: Oral health practices, parental, and teacher's involvement

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Figure 1: Oral health practice, parental, and teacher's involvement

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  Discussion Top

This survey assessed oral health awareness and practice of school children in rural children. The influence of urbanization and modern food habits have certainly made Indian children at par with those in Western countries, but their oral hygiene practice have not changed with the changing times. [5]

This survey found that only 52% brushed their teeth two or more times a day, but in a study by Zhu et al., [6] only 44.4% of study participants brushed their teeth twice. Also, Amitha et al., (un-published data) survey conducted on rural population found that only 20% of children brushed their teeth twice a day and 32% children used tooth brush and paste. Comparing this with other parts of India, Jamil et al., found that dental health knowledge and awareness were poor in children of Kerala than that of the present study group. Lack of both parental and child oral health education might also explain these findings. The use of other recommended oral hygiene methods such as dental floss etc., (5.2%) was found to be rare; this could also be attributed to the lack of oral health education and/or the cost of such aids. This finding is similar to the study conducted in North Jordon by Al-Omiri et al., [7] where the use of dental floss (2%) was very less. In contrast, Hamilton and Coulby [8] found that a high percentage (42%) of sample they studied in north eastern Ontario used dental floss, reason for this may be because significant resources allocation to health education programs are carried out.

In this study it was found that female performance was better than male performance in oral health practice that was similar to study by El-Qaderi and Taani. [9] Females performed the oral hygiene practice better than their male counterpart which is in agreement with other previous studies. [6] This difference can attributed to a higher concern regarding personal hygiene and health care among females.

The study participants received information regarding oral health mainly from parents. This finding is in agreement with the study by Varenne et al. [10] This in contrast study by Jamjoum, [11] where in the information was obtained mainly from television. [12]

Based upon this survey, the awareness regarding oral hygiene practice and parental and teachers attitude is poor.

Results of this survey suggest that oral hygiene awareness and practice are poor and need to be improved. Based upon these finding, systematic community-orientated oral health promotion programs are needed to target lifestyles and the needs of school children. Also information regarding oral health should be included on wider basis in the school curriculum in an attempt to prevent and control dental disease. In this background, oral health promotion program has to involve partnership of school authorities, parents, and dental-care providers such as dental colleges or public health department and funding agencies. Comprehensive oral health program for both children and their parents are required to achieve this goal.

  References Top

1.David J, Wang NJ, Astrøm AN, Kuriakose S. Dental caries and associated factors in 12- year-old schoolchildren in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India. Int J Paediatr Dent 2005;15:420-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Grewal N, Kaur M. Status of oral health awareness in Indian children as compared to Western children: A thought provoking situation. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2007;25:15-9.  Back to cited text no. 2
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3.Zhu L, Petersen PE, Wang HY, Bian JY, Zhang BX. Oral health knowledge, attitudes and behavior of children and adolescents in China. Int Dent J 2003;53:289-98.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Rayner J, Holt R, Blinkhorn F, Duncan K; British Society of Paediatric Dentistry. British Society of Paediatric Dentistry: A policy document on oral health care in preschool children. Int J Paediatr Dent 2003;13:279-85.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Rajab LD, Petersen PE, Bakaeen G, Hamdan MA. Oral health behavior of school children and parents in Jordon. Int J Paediatr Dent 2002;12:168-76.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Zhu L, Petersen PE, Wang HY, Bian JY, Zhang BX. Oral health knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of adults in China. Int Dent J 2005;55:231-41.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Al-Omiri MK, Al-Wahadni AM, Saeed KN. Oral health attitudes, knowledge, and behavior among school children in North Jordan. J Dent Educ 2006;70:179-87.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Hamilton ME, Coulby WM. Oral health knowledge and habits of senior elementary school students. J Public Health Dent 1991;51:212-9.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.El-Qaderi SS, Taani DQ. Oral health knowledge and dental health practices among school children in Jerash district-Jordan. Int J Dent Hyg 2004;2:78-85.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Varenne B, Petersen PE, Ouattara S. Oral health behaviour of children and adults in urban and rural areas of Burkina Faso, Africa. Int Dent J 2006;56:61-70.  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Jamjoum H. Preventive oral health knowledge, practice and behaviour in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Odontostomatol Trop 1997;20:13-8.  Back to cited text no. 11
12.David J, Astrøm AN, Wang NJ. Prevalence and correlates of self-reported state of teeth among schoolchildren in Kerala, India. BMC Oral Health 2006;6:10.  Back to cited text no. 12


  [Figure 1]

  [Table 1]

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