ORAL HYGIENE PRACTICES IN PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN AND THEIR TEACHERS IN A PERI-URBAN LOCALITY OF ISLAMABAD
The objective of this descriptive, cross-sectional study was to assess the oral hygiene practices of primary school children in Bara Kahu, a peri-urban locality in the outskirts of Islamabad Capital Territory. From a list of 17 primary schools in the area, five schools were randomly selected using the dice roll method. With consent from school authorities and parents, a convenience sample of 384 children aged 4-10 years were selected from the five schools and, in the presence of a class teacher, oral hygiene practices were assessed via a questionnaire filled out by the investigator team members. Teachers were also included in the assessment. With analysis by SPSS version 20, the results showed that the oral hygiene practices of the children was below standard where one-third of the children did not brush their teeth at all, 66.1% brushed their teeth at least once daily and only 2.86% followed the recommended twice a day. Only 6.1% children had been to a dentist. Teachers also exhibited deficient oral hygiene practices with only 33.33% following the twice a day protocol. Use of miswak was popular. It is recommended that oral health education and awareness program, modified to include miswak as an additional oral hygiene tool, are essential for improve the standard of oral health practices by children from rural and peri-urban settings.
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