Dar Es Salaam Medical Students' Journal

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Dental fluorosis knowledge and perception among students of the health sciences

D Shunu


Introduction: The effect of excessive intake of fluoride is obviously seen among people in endemic areas of fluorosis in Tanzania but people have not openly expressed what they feel about of dental fluorosis.
Objective: To assess dental fluorosis perception among students of the health sciences at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS).
Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study among students of the health sciences at MUHAS was conducted in April 2012. A total of 40 students aged 19-28 years from different courses were involved to assess their views using a self-administered questionnaire and tables were prepared using Microsoft excel.
Results: thirty students, which is 75% of all students interviewed were bothered by brown mottled teeth, while the remaining 10(25%) responded that having brown mottled teeth was normal to them. A total of 31(77.5%) didn’t know how to prevent dental fluorosis while 9(22.5%) had knowledge on the effect of excess fluoride so they also knew how to prevent fluorosis.
Conclusion: Majority of the students perceived dental fluorosis as a problem while few had knowledge on how to prevent it. This shows a need to educate them about fluorosis to put them in a better position to combat this problem.

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