Purpose: The aim of study was to investigate the oral health knowledge, attitudes and preventive practices of third grade school children in Harris County. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, oral health knowledge, attitudes, and preventive practices of the children were investigated by means of a self-administered, bilingual questionnaire. Three calibrated examiners collected data on dental caries, periodontitis, and fluorosis of 1,031 school children. Results: Most children reported "fairly adequate" oral hygiene habits (58%) and oral health knowledge (48%), and "adequate" dietary patterns (59%). Children with inadequate oral health knowledge were twice as likely to have caries than children with adequate knowledge (OR= 2.05, 95% CI=1.29, 3.28). The mean combined DMFT/dfi scores of children with inadequate knowledge were significantly higher than the mean for children with adequate knowledge (t= 2.6, P= 0.009). Conclusions: Results indicate a need to improve oral health knowledge and preventive practices among the study population. Because of the cross-sectional nature of the study, it is not possible to illustrate a cause-effect relationship between oral health education and prevalence of caries.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - Sep 1 2000|
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