Oral health knowledge and practice among traders in Ibadan
Background: Adopting good oral health practices such as regular tooth brushing and flossing; healthy nutritional habits and regular visits to the dentist, play a vital role in the wellbeing of an individual by preventing oral diseases such as dental caries and periodontal disease. Adequate knowledge of factors related to oral health may influence oral health practices leading to improved oral health.
Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the oral health knowledge and practice of a group of adults in Ibadan, Nigeria to enable planning of oral health services.
Method: A cross sectional survey involving 400 randomly selected traders at the Bola Ige Modern Market, Gbagi, Ibadan. A semi-structured intervieweradministered questionnaire was used to obtain information on sociodemographics, oral health knowledge and practice. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics at p < 0.05.
Results: The mean age of participants was 36.9 ±1.2, 37.0% had adequate knowledge that tooth decay was related to sweet food substances, but the majority (61.9%) consumed carbonated drinks at least once a week. Only 22.8% had ever visited a dentist in their life time and 5.8% in the last six months. Knowledge of who a dentist was associated with their level of education, with more participants who had tertiary education (83%) having greater knowledge (X2= 38.3, p < 0.001). About 70.3% of the study participants used a toothbrush and toothpaste to clean their teeth.
Conclusion: There is poor oral health knowledge amongst adult Nigerians and they utilize oral health practices that do not engender good oral health.
Keywords: Dental caries, Periodontal disease, Oral health awareness