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Tanzania Dental Journal

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Knowledge, attitudes and practices on oral hygiene among 12 years old school children in Luanshya, Zambia

Abel Hamoonga, Severine Nyerembe Anthony, Setter Siziya

Abstract


Aims: To assess oral health knowledge, attitudes and practices among 12 years old pupils in Lunacy, Zambia.

Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive survey was conducted involving 12 years old children from seven randomly selected urban and peri urban primary schools in Luanshya. A close ended self administered questionnaire adopted from Peterson and Stenberg was used to gather information pertaining to knowledge, attitudes, and practices. Data was analysed using SPSS version 16 and chi square test was used to test for differences in associations where significance was assumed when p≤0.05.

Results: A total of 412 pupils with male to female ratio of 1.1:1.0 participated in this study. Majority (91.3%) had adequate knowledge on dental caries while 66.7% had adequate knowledge on periodontal diseases. Most of the participants (76.5%) knew plaque can be prevented by brushing and flossing. More than half of the participants (59.7%) knew causes of gum bleeding and majority (76.4) were aware that bleeding gums can be prevented by brushing and flossing. Only 10.9% were of the opinion that restoration is a better treatment of tooth ache compared to extraction. Majority (84.5%) agreed that regular dental visits are important, however only 10.0% of the participants reported to have visited their dentist regularly within the past one year. Only 11.4% brushed their teeth twice or more in a day and while (0.3%) reported to use dental floss as tooth cleaning gadget.

Conclusion: Awareness on oral hygiene among participants in this study was generally adequate. Majority thought treatment of a tooth is as important as of any other organ in the body. Tooth extraction was reported as a better option than restoration. Oral health promotion programs are needed to improve oral health knowledge, attitude, and practices among pupils.

Keywords: Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices, Oral hygiene, 12 years old pupils, Zambia




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