Oral health-related knowledge, attitude, and practices among 12-year-old schoolchildren studying in rural areas of Panchkula, India

Mehta, Abhishek; Kaur, Gurkiran
March 2012
Indian Journal of Dental Research;Mar/Apr2012, Vol. 23 Issue 2, following p292
Academic Journal
Oral health is fundamental to general health and well being. Schools can provide a supportive environment for promoting oral health. School policies and education on health-related matters are imperative for the attainment of good oral health and control of related risk behaviors. Aim: This study was conducted to assess oral health-related knowledge, attitude, and practices among 12-year-old schoolchildren studying in rural areas of Panchkula, India. The ultimate goal was to implement an oral health-promotion program in this area. Materials and Methods: A total of 440 children (216 males and 224 females) from 12 schools were included in this study. All the participants were requested to complete a 13-question closed-ended questionnaire. The statistical significance of any difference between the two genders was determined using the Chi-square test. Results: Only 25% of the participants said that they cleaned their teeth more than once in a day. Thirty-two percent did not clean their teeth daily. Over the preceding 1 year, 45.5% of the childern had had some problem with their teeth and/or gums, but only 35.9% visited the dentist. Among these children, 8.2% used tobacco in some form. Oral health-related knowledge of girls was significantly better than that of boys. Conclusion: Based upon the findings of the present study, the knowledge, attitude, and practices of the surveyed children with regard to oral health is poor. Hence, there is a need for regular oral health education of the children, as well as their parents and school teachers.


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