Oral hygiene status and oral health practices of primary school childreniIn rural India
Background: Dental care is a forgotten part of healthy life style and has been neglected for a long time in India. Aims and Objectives: To assess the oral hygiene status and oral health practices of primary school children in Rural Andhra Pradesh, India. Materials and Methods: A survey was carried out among 393 primary school children (Boys: 223 and Girls: 170 ) between the age group of 6-13 years. Data on Oral Health practices was collected by means of a questionnaire followed by an intraoral examination. The dental status of the children were recorded which included conditions such as caries, malocclusion and fluorosis. Results: The results showed that 75.83% of children brush their teeth once a day, 99.99% of them use tooth brush as a method to clean their teeth, 98% of the children use tooth paste with the tooth brush and 93.89% of children use horizontal strokes for brushing compared to 2.80% of children who use vertical strokes. Only 3.30 % of children used combined strokes for brushing, 56.5% of the children rinse their mouth after a meal. Intra oral examination revealed 58.52% dental caries (26.97% were girls and 31.55% were boys). Malocclusion was seen in 5.34% of children while Fluorosis was found in 4.07% of children. Although a large percentage of children were found to be having dental caries, only 17.81% of children visited a dentist while 82.19% of them had never been to a Dentist. Conclusion: In conclusion, oral hygiene awareness, education and motivation are the basic steps for improving the oral hygiene. Oral health promotion programs should involve school authorities, parents and dental-care providers.
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