Knowledge and Oral Health Practices among Dental Service Users

Juliana Aparecida de Campos LAWDER, Yasmine Bitencourt Emilio MENDES, Leila Cristina da SILVA, Danielle Karin D. ANDRADE, Luciana Miketen ROCHA, Tatiana Mattos ROGALLA, Cristina Berger FADELI, Márcia Helena BALDANI

Abstract


Objective: To assess the knowledge and oral health practices among patients attending the Dental School of Ponta Grossa State University, PR, Brazil.
Method: The non-probabilistic sample included 200 patients that came for dental treatment between March and June 2006. The data were collected using a previously tested and validated semi-structured questionnaire, arguing on the ability to specify some oral problems; knowledge of etiology and prevention of caries disease; fluoride use; and self-perception of oral health conditions and dental care. The data were analyzed using the SPSS 15.0 software and the results were described as relative and absolute frequencies. The chi-square test was used to identify statistically significant differences between the patient groups.
Results: The population consisted mainly of adult women with low level of education. Most individuals acknowledged the main oral pathologies, especially dental caries (60%), which, according to 75% of the interviewees, can be avoided by oral self-care. However, approximately 13% of the subjects did not have any knowledge of caries disease or fluoride use, and 37% did not believe that the teeth can remain in the oral cavity until the end of life. Only 7.5% of the participants associated dental caries with diet. It was observed that worse oral health perception was significantly associated to the presence of caries (p = 0.003).
Conclusion: The great majority of the study population knows about oral health conditions and is aware of prevention and control measures. However, individuals with lower educational level seem to be out of the reach of the available information and health education programs directed to these people are required.

Keywords


Saúde bucal; Educação em saúde bucal; Cárie dentária; Oral Health; Health Education, Dental; Dental Caries.



DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4034/pboci.v8i3.447

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