Sources of Oral Health Information and its Relationship on Knowledge Among Indian Adolescents
Keywords:Adolescent, Dental Care, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
Objective: To assess the current level of oral health knowledge and identify information sources among adolescents in Bhubaneswar, India. Material and Methods: A cross-sectional examination was conducted among 1330 adolescents aged 13 to 15 years enrolled in 24 randomly selected government and private schools in Bhubaneswar. A specially designed self-administered questionnaire was used to collect the responses. Chi-square test with a level of significance set at 5% was used for statistical analysis. Results: Parents (55%) followed by media (18%) were the major sources of oral health information among the study population, which was statistically not significant in relation to gender and school type. Many subjects (95.3%) perceived sweets could cause tooth decay; however, this was statistically significant only among school type (p<0.05). Around (45%) knew about fluoride and only 36% properly identified fluoride's action as preventing cavities. This was statistically significant among both gender and school type (p<0.05). Seventy-five percent of students effectively distinguished gum disease symptoms, which was significant only with gender (p<0.05). Around 55% identified that oral habits have an influence on oral health, which showed significance among gender (p<0.05). Conclusion: Children oral health knowledge was not satisfactory, highlighting the need to utilize parents, schoolteachers and media to provide oral health education. It’s essential for designing and implementing a person-centered care model in dentistry.
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