Prevalence Of Dental Caries Among Female Adolescents In Umuahia Metropolis
The objective of this study was mainly to ascertain the knowledge and practice of oral health and to determine the prevalence of dental caries among female adolescents. It is a descriptive crosssectional study. The study population consisted of female adolescents in senior secondary schools in Umuahia. Two hundred and fifty one students were selected using the multistage sampling technique. Data collection was through self-administered questionnaires alongside dental examination using
mirrors and probes. Data analysis was done manually and electronically using Microsoft Excel. Mean age of the respondents was 15.12 ±1.7years. Of the 251 respondents, 62 (24.7%) had dental caries. The total number of affected teeth was 94. The DMF index was 1.52. The number of students that use fluoridated dentifrices was found to be 235(93.6%) and 12(4.8%) students were found not to be using fluoridated dentifrices. Eighty (thirty-two percent) was found to clean their mouth once daily while
125(49.8%) clean their mouth more than once daily. Eighty six (thirty-four percent) consume sugary confectioneries at least once daily while 148(59%) consume sugar confectionaries more than once daily. The use of fluoridated dentifrices, consumption of sugary confectionaries and frequency of mouth cleaning were found to affect the incidence of dental caries. Therefore, the prevalence of dental caries is relatively high, hence the need for improved oral health practices among our adolescents.
Key Words: Dental Caries, Fluoridated Dentifrices, Confectioneries, Umuahia, Adolescents.