A SURVEY ON ORAL HYGIENE PRACTICES OF CHILDREN ATTENDING THE PUNJAB DENTAL HOSPITAL, LAHORE AND ASSESSMENT OF ORAL HEALTH AWARENESS AMONG THEIR PARENTS
To assess parents knowledge and awareness about oral health and hygiene and to investigate oral hygiene practices of their children .
Materials and Methods :
A questionnaire based survey was conducted among randomly selected parents of 300 children attending the outdoor Paedodontic department of Punjab dental hospital, Lahore from different cities of Punjab province. Total 300 distributed questionnaires, each having two parts were filled and returned by parents on next appointment visit of their children. The data was analyzed using SPSS software version 21.0. Ethical clearance for the study was obtained from institutional/hospital Ethical Committee.
74.35% parents acknowledged the importance of oral hygiene. 35.3% parents considered good oral health important for general health. Most of the parents (64.7%) didn’t know that primary teeth affect permanent teeth and 70% of parents didn’t think that primary carious teeth require treatment. Majority of the parents (78.3% and 55.7% respectively) didn’t know that pacifiers/bottles(feeders) affect the infants /childs oral health and should be replaced by feeding cups when the child is able to hold it. 82.7% parents knew that sweet sticky food causes caries however 61.3% didn’t consider frequent intake of artically flavoured juices,beverages detrimental for oral health. Most of the parents (75%) considered tooth brushing important but 57.7% didn’t know that bedtime brushing is extremely beneficial for oral health. 62.3% parents did not know that fluoride toothpastes provide protection against dental caries and 51% of the parents didn’t consider routine dental checkups necessary. According to the data, 39.7% parents initiated teeth brushing of their children at the age of 19-24 months, followed by 25-30 months (25%). Majority of the children were supervised/ helped in cleaning teeth (92%). Most of the children were found to brush their teeth only once a day (73%). Most frequently used tooth cleaning aid was tooth brush & tooth paste (66%) followed by maswak (18% ). Most of the children spent thirty seconds on brushing (62.3%) followed by one minute (17.7%). Most of the children brush their teeth in horizontal direction (57%) followed by haphazard (34%) direction. 65.7%) of the parents didn’t remember when they last changed their child’s tooth brush. Majority of the parents (45.3%) took their child for dental visit more than one year ago and main reason for visit was pain (71%). Most of the children took sweet sticky food several times a day (65%).
Parents awareness about oral health and hygiene is the need of hour to improve oral health of children in our country. The results of this study lay emphasis on conduction of various educational and motivational programmes among the parents about significance of oral health and hygiene at grassroots level.