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Tanzania Dental Journal

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Oral hygiene practices and oral health care seeking behaviours among primary school teachers in Ndola, Zambia

Lilian Chambisha, Severine Nyerembe Anthony, Seter Siziya

Abstract


Aim: To determine the oral hygiene practices and oral health care seeking behaviours among primary school teachers.

Materials and Methods: A cross sectional descriptive study was conducted among primary school teachers from public schools in Ndola district, Zambia.The primary schools were selected using stratified random sampling method. Chi square test was used to determine differences in oral hygiene practices and oral health care seeking behaviours between males and females teachers. The level of significance set at 5%.

Results: Most of the respondents (92.7%) brushed their teeth at least twice daily. Toothpick and flossing were used to clean in between the teeth by 68.5% and 23.5% of the respondents respectively. About three quarters reported that regular dental visits were important. About three quarters (71.6%) reported to have paid dental visit during the last one year. The most common reasons for dental visit were relief of pain (66.2%), regular (preventive) visit (28.9%), and bleeding gums (17.4%). Regular visit to the dentist were thought to be important by 71.6% respondents.

Conclusion: Most of the respondents reported brushing teeth twice or more per day. Two third reported to use tooth picking to clean in between teeth. Toothache was the main reason for dental attendance. A quarter of respondents reported regular dental visits. It is recommended that oral health staff give information to clients seeking treatment on the importance of regular dental visits.

Keywords: Oral hygiene practices; health seeking behaviours; School teacher; Zambia




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