Background: The limited availability of oral health care services and the lack of knowledge on oral health in the population have been documented as contributing factors for poor oral health among preschool children. Aims and Objectives: This study was designed to evaluate the effect of an oral health education intervention, in Eastern Bihar school children. The objective was to improve the oral health status. Materials and Methods: 116 children were recruited using a convenience sampling technique. WHO criteria for detecting dental caries and treatment need were used. Loe’s plaque index was used to determine the oral hygiene status of children. Mothers were educated on common oral health problems and causes among children. Preventive strategies and available oral health care services were introduced. Their knowledge of healthy food habits, of oral hygiene practices and of opportunities for self-referrals to oral health care facilities was enhanced during the intervention. Pre- and Post-Intervention clinical assessments were performed on children. Results: The prevalence of caries was reduced from a mean DMFT of 3.60 to 3.00 (P<0.005). The major change was a reduction in the number of non-cavitated lesions, where the mean was lowered to 1.83 from 2.11 (P=0.04). Children not in need of treatment for dental caries increased to more than half (69%) of the sample after 6 months, compared to 54% initially (p=0.564). The need for preventive care decreased from 41% to 19% (p<0.005). The same observation was made for treatment need, where the reduction was from 14.6% to 5.9% (p=0.003). Prevalence of plaque was reduced from 86% to 81% post intervention. Conclusion: In conclusion, utilizing non-dental personnel to deliver appropriate education messages can improve the oral health of preschool children.
Key words: Preschool children, Preschool Teachers, hygiene, Oral health.
Received: 17 September 2018 Revised: 18 November 2018 Accepted: 19 November 2018
Corresponding Author: Dr. Rathi Rela, Senior Resident, Patna Medical College & Hospital, Patna, Bihar, India
This article may be cited as: Rela R. Promoting Oral Health Awareness among 116 School Children in Eastern Bihar. J Adv Med Dent Scie Res 2018;6(12):28-30.