Basic School Teachers' Knowledge and Attitude about Tooth Decay and Practice towards Oral Health Education at Khartoum Province- Sudan
Background: The important role of teachers in oral health education cannot be ignored, but most of teachers are not trained for this task and they have low abilities and willingness for it.
Objectives: This study aimed to assess knowledge about tooth decay and practice towards oral health education among basic school teachers. Also to determine their decayed, missed and filled tooth index (DMFT) and Oral hygiene index (OHI).
Subjects and Methods: Cross-sectional study among 184 basic school teachers, working in schools in Khartoum province. An interview questionnaire consisting of 15 questions covering their oral hygiene habits, basic knowledge about tooth decay, willingness to participate in school based oral health programs.
Results: showed that the mean DMFT index was 11.59±5.09. The oral hygiene condition was assessed via OHI-Simplified, 53.3% had good oral hygiene, 44% fair and 2.7% poor. Knowledge assessment revealed that 54.9% thought that dental caries is caused mainly by bacteria and sugars and 31.0% believed that tooth decay cannot be prevented. Significant association was found between teachers’ age and their source of information about oral health (p=0.036). Regarding practice towards oral health 60.3% of the teachers claimed spending time promoting for oral health.
Conclusion: basic school teachers were generally well informed about tooth decay but some deficiencies were noticed.
Keywords: School teachers, Tooth decay, Oral Hygiene Index, Khartoum.