Nigerian Journal of Nutritional Sciences

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Oral hygiene, dental caries and nutritional Status of in-school adolescents in Ibadan

F.A. Atiba, O.O. Leshi


Background: Dental caries has become a disease of public health  significance with dietary and hygiene practices being identified has major contributors. The extent of this burden is poorly explored among the adolescents in Nigeria. This study examines the association between oral hygiene, dental caries and nutritional status of in-school adolescents in Ibadan.
Methodology: This cross-sectional study involved 663 in-school  adolescents from two randomly selected public secondary schools in  Ibadan metropolis. Data collected include demographic data,  anthropometric indices (weight and height), oral hygiene status and dental caries. An intra-oral examination was conducted to assess oral hygiene and dental caries, while BMI-for-age was computed using WHO Anthroplus. Descriptive and inferential statistics was performed to determine the association between oral hygiene, dental caries and nutritional status.
Results: The mean age of the adolescents was 14.6±1.6years. The prevalence of oral hygiene and dental caries were 21.3% and 14.7% respectively. Sugary drinks and chocolate beverages were commonly consumed by 59.7% and 71.3% of the respondents respectively. Majority (78.0%) had normal nutritional status while 21.0% of the respondents were underweight and about 1% were either overweight or obese. No significant association was found between oral hygiene practice and nutritional status and also between dental caries and nutritional status.
Conclusion: This study has revealed poor oral hygiene and relatively high prevalence of dental caries among the adolescents. There is the need for nutrition, oral and health education programs in secondary schools targeting the improvement of oral hygiene ultimately prevention of dental caries.

Key words: Oral hygiene, Dental caries, Nutritional status, Adolescents

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