Oral hygiene knowledge habits and practices among primary school pupils in Kano Nigeria
Background: Promotion of oral hygiene is one of the components of primary health care in Nigeria. However, good dental health is a privilege of the wealthy few who can afford expensive dental care. Though most studies reported that between four to 30% of Nigerians have dental caries a prevalence of 58% was reported among northern urban dwellers. Periodontal disease with deep pocketing occurs in Nigerians at an early age. Dental caries and periodontal diseases are the two dental diseases which are entirely preventable
Aim: To compare oral hygiene, habits and practices among primary school children attending public and private schools in Gwale local government, Kano state.
Method: A descriptive comparative cross sectional study was conducted by administering pre-tested, structured, mostly closed ended interviewer-administered questionnaires to 400 children. Respondents were selected using systematic sampling technique from two schools in the study area. Their responses were collated and analyzed.
Results: The mean age of the respondents was 11.7+ 2 (years) for the public and 11.5 + 1.1 (years) for the private school. Better knowledge of oral hygiene was observed among students of private school students (63.5%) compared to those in public school (36.5%) and better practices in private school (81.5%). Significant differences were observed among students of the study schools in methods of brushing, frequency, parental supervision as well as visit to dentists (p<0.05).
Conclusion: More attention should be given to oral hygiene particularly through mothers' involvement which most certainly will result in remarkable improvement in oral hygiene among our children.
Keywords: Pupils, Oral Hygiene, Knowledge, Practices