Oral Health Status and Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices of Students Attending Public Secondary Schools, in Georgetown
Acta Scientific Dental Scienecs
Oral health is essential to general health and wellbeing. Fostering good oral health behaviour is fundamental to the prevention of oral diseases. Adopting healthy practices at an early age can lead to improved dental health that is more sustainable in the future. In Guyana, very little information is available on the oral health status of adolescence. Objective: This study examined oral health knowledge, attitudes and practices of 12 and 13-year-old students attending public secondary schools
... secondary schools in Georgetown, with their oral health status. Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 353 (7th grade) students. An oral health questionnaire was given followed by an oral examination. Data collected was exported from Microsoft Office Excel to SPSS version 20 for analysis. Continuous variables were summarized using frequency distributions, mean and standard deviation for quantitative variables. Contingency tables and chi-square analysis were used, and a p-value of <0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: The mean DMFT and PDI was 1.51 (SD 1.70) and 1.09 (SD 0.38), respectively. Statistical significance was observed for PDI values among gender (p value :0.04) and schools (p value 0.00). 46% students had moderate DMFT status (≤ 3) and mild to moderate gingivitis (58%). Students had a fair level of knowledge (81%), and positive attitudes towards oral health (89.2%). Most student participants practiced twice-daily tooth brushing (77.9%) using toothbrush and toothpaste (98.3% and 55%)and flossing (53.3%). Conclusion: The oral health status of the students with dental caries and periodontal diseases was moderate to poor. 84.1 % of female students and 78.1 % of male students exhibited a fair level of knowledge on the causes of oral diseases and the various preventive measures. Oral hygiene practices and attitudes among students were also found to be satisfactory. There were no overall statistically significant relationships observed among knowledge, attitudes and practices with oral health status.