FREQUENCY OF DENTAL CARIES AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL CHILDREN OF NORTHWEST PAKISTAN AND THEIR TEACHERS’ ORAL HEALTH KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE AND PRACTICES
Years of conflict in northwest Pakistan combined with earthquakes and floods had very harmful effect on the oral health of the children. The aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency of dental caries in children living in northwest region of Pakistan and the understanding of their teachers towards dental care. Twelve schools with 1800 children aged between 10-16 years were randomly sampled. Children were examined and emphasis was given to their decayed, missed and filled teeth. One hundred and fifty teachers from 12 schools completed a validated questionnaire assessing their oral health knowledge. Frequency of DMFT, MDT and MMT were 1.75, 1.5 and 0.17 respectively. Among boys frequency of DMFT, MDT and MMT was (1.80, 1.50 and 0.10, p=0.05) .In girls it was (1.70, 1.4 and 0.25, p=0.05). However, in private and armed forces schools, the frequency of DMFT among girls was (1.80 and 1.83, p= 0.05) which was higher than boys (1.70 and 1.80, p=0.05). More than 95% of the teachers had reasonable amount of understanding of the concept of tooth decay. Around 71% of the teachers experienced some degree of sensitivity in their teeth and 86% of them had never been to a dentist for scaling. It was concluded that frequency was higher in boys than girls.