|Year : 2016 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 32-34
A descriptive study on knowledge of schoolchildren regarding prevention of dental caries
Deepa Peter, Priya Janifer Fernandes, Lisha Jenifer Menezes, Sneha Thangachan, Sangeetha Crasta, Nivya Davy, Athira Mariat Johnson, Jincy Mariam Koshy, Ann Mary Kurian
Department of Child Health Nursing, Father Muller College of Nursing, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
|Date of Web Publication||21-Jan-2016|
Priya Janifer Fernandes
Department of Child Health Nursing, Father Muller College of Nursing, Kankandy, Mangalore - 575 002, Karnataka
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Context: Dental caries is considered to be a major public health problem globally due to its high prevalence and significant social impact. The World Health Organization reports 60-90% of schoolchildren worldwide have experienced caries, with the disease being most prevalent in Asian and Latin American countries. Aim: To determine the level of knowledge regarding prevention of dental carries among schoolchildren and to find an association between the knowledge on prevention of dental caries and the selected baseline variables. Materials and Methods:A descriptive design was used for the present study. The subjects consisted of 100 higher primary schoolchildren from a government school who were selected using purposive sampling method. Data were collected by administering a structured knowledge questionnaire. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics such as mean, median, and standard deviation, and inferential statistics such as chi-square test was used. Result: Majority of the schoolchildren (50%) had average knowledge, 33% had good knowledge, 16% had poor knowledge, and 1% had very good knowledge regarding the prevention of dental caries. There was a significant association between the level of knowledge and the selected baseline variables such as age. Conclusion: The findings of this study revealed that a majority of the subjects had average knowledge on the prevention of dental caries, which indicates that children are at risk of developing dental caries. Hence, this study may help to develop healthy interventions about the prevention of dental caries among schoolchildren.
Keywords: Dental caries, knowledge, knowledge on prevention of dental caries, schoolchildren
|How to cite this article:|
Peter D, Fernandes PJ, Menezes LJ, Thangachan S, Crasta S, Davy N, Johnson AM, Koshy JM, Kurian AM. A descriptive study on knowledge of schoolchildren regarding prevention of dental caries. Muller J Med Sci Res 2016;7:32-4
|How to cite this URL:|
Peter D, Fernandes PJ, Menezes LJ, Thangachan S, Crasta S, Davy N, Johnson AM, Koshy JM, Kurian AM. A descriptive study on knowledge of schoolchildren regarding prevention of dental caries. Muller J Med Sci Res [serial online] 2016 [cited 2021 Dec 1];7:32-4. Available from: https://www.mjmsr.net/text.asp?2016/7/1/32/174609
| Introduction|| |
Dental caries is considered to be a major public health problem globally due to its high prevalence and significant social impact. The World Health Organization reports 60-90% of schoolchildren worldwide have experienced caries, with the disease being most prevalent in Asian and Latin American countries.
Dental caries is an irreversible microbial disease of the calcified tissue of teeth characterized by demineralization of inorganic portion and destruction of organic substance of the tooth, which often leads to cavitation. 
Issues of oral health in children revolve almost exclusively around dental caries. Dental caries is the most common chronic childhood disease and its treatment is the most prevalent unmet health need in children. A substantial portion of caries lesions can be prevented; indeed, the incidence of this disease has declined among school-age children and adults in the past three decades. However, the incidence among preschool children has not declined at a similar rate over this same time period. 
It is parents who guide children with certain instructions on the maintenance of oral health. Knowledge about oral health and prevention of dental caries is important for a healthy oral cavity and a healthy life. 
Dental caries is an infectious disease that can occur when bacteria colonizes a tooth surface in the presence of dietary carbohydrates, especially refined sugars. The bacteria metabolize the carbohydrates, producing lactic acid, which over time dematerializes the tooth Structure. 
If untreated, there are chances of brain abscess. Brain abscess following dental or periapical infection is rare in childhood. This report describes brain abscesses found in two children with dental caries. 
Progression of individual caries lesions is typically slow but it can be extremely rapid in a small proportion of individuals and especially in primary teeth, which have thinner enamel. Because dental caries is a chronic disease of microbial origin, modified by diet, the elimination of unhealthy dental practices helps to prevent it. 
The main treatment option for a tooth cavity is to drill out the decay and put in a filling (restoration) made from various materials (e.g., composite resins, amalgam, and porcelain). Extensive tooth decay may necessitate a crown, root canal treatment, or even extraction of the tooth. 
The prevention of dental caries can be approached in three ways: use of fluorides, reduction of frequent consumption of sugars, and application of pit and fissure sealants. 
The number of cases has decreased in some developed countries, and this decline has been usually attributed to increasingly better oral hygiene practices and preventive measures such as fluoride treatment. It is safe to implement a whole assay of new treatment modalities for initial caries lesions to prevent complications. 
Objectives of The Study
- To determine the level of knowledge of schoolchildren regarding prevention of dental caries using a structured knowledge questionnaire.
- To find an association between the knowledge on prevention of dental caries and the selected baseline variables.
H 01: There will be no significant association between the knowledge on prevention of dental caries among schoolchildren and the selected baseline variables.
| Materials and Methods|| |
The research approach and design adopted for the study was descriptive survey. The population consisted of schoolchildren aged between 8 years and 11 years. The investigator obtained permission from the school and also took the permission from the ethical clearance committee. After the introduction of the investigator to the students, the objectives of the study were explained and written consent was obtained from the participants. Their willingness to participate in the study was ascertained and they were assured of the anonymity and confidentiality of the information provided. Data collection took place on June 4, 2014. Subjects were selected according to the selection criteria of the study. The subjects were provided with a structured knowledge questionnaire to assess thir level of knowledge on the prevention of dental caries with 22 close-ended questions. The subjects were given time duration of half an hour to answer the questions. After the completion of the questionnaire, the answers were collected back and analyzed.
Organization of Findings
The data collected were entered into the master sheet for tabulation and statistical processing. The data were analyzed and presented under the following headings.
Section 1: Sample characteristics.
Section 2: Level of knowledge regarding the prevention of dental caries among schoolchildren aged 8-11 years.
Section 3: Association between the knowledge on prevention of dental caries and the selected baseline variables.
| Results|| |
Section 1: Sample Characteristics
Out of the 100 students, the majority was in the age group of 10-11 years and most of them were males. More than half of the parents had completed high school education. A majority of the students had at least one visit to the dentist and the reason for the visit was toothache.
Section 2: Level of Knowledge Regarding The Prevention of Dental Caries Among Schoolchildren
Section 3: Association Between The Knowledge on Prevention of Dental Caries and The Selected Baseline Variables
The following null hypothesis was formulated:
There will be no significant association between the knowledge on prevention of dental carries among schoolchildren and the selected baseline variables.
The chi-square values computed between the knowledge level and selected baseline variables such as age (27.461), gender (18.570), education (22.345), type of family (10.226), and previous visit to the dentist (7.173) were found to be significant at 0.05 level of significance. Hence, null hypothesis was rejected and alternate hypothesis was accepted. It was inferred that there was a significant association between the level of knowledge and the selected demographic variables such as age, gender, education, type of family, and previous visit to the dentist.
| Discussion|| |
Knowledge Level Regarding Dental Caries
In the present study, a majority (50%) of the schoolchildren had average knowledge, 33% children had good knowledge, and 16% children had average knowledge regarding prevention of dental caries.
The present study findings are congruent with another study conducted to assess health-related knowledge, attitude, and practices among 12-year-old schoolchildren studying in the rural areas of Panchkula, Haryana, India. There was good awareness among the children regarding the importance of regular brushing of teeth for caries prevention (83.2%).
Association Between The Knowledge on Prevention of Dental Caries and The Selected Baseline Variables
In the present study, through statistical values it was inferred that there was a significant association between the level of knowledge on prevention of dental caries and the selected demographic variables such as age (P = 0.000), gender (0.000), education (0.000), type of family (0.018), and previous visit to the dentist (0.048) at 0.05 level of significance.
The present study findings are congruent with another study conducted to assess the indicators associated with the prevalence of caries in the primary dentition of 7-year-old Flemish schoolchildren. From the analysis, it became clear that the risk indicators remained significant (at 5% level) for the presence of caries: frequency of teeth-brushing (P = 0.05) age at start of brushing (P < 0.001) for a delay of 1 year, regular use of fluoride supplements (P < 0.001), daily use of sugar-containing drinks between meals (P < 0.001), and number of between-meals snacks (P = 0.012). 
| Conclusion|| |
The study reported that a majority of the subjects had average knowledge on the prevention of dental caries, which indicates that children are at risk of developing dental caries. A nationwide scientifically proven, cost-effective school-based intervention is needed for the prevention and control of caries in schoolchildren in Mangalore, Karnataka, India.
Financial Support and Sponsorship
Conflicts of Interest
There are no confl icts of interest.
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