Oral Health Knowledge among Primary and Middle School Teachers in Chennai, India

Abstract: Aim: To assess the knowledge of primary & middle school teachers with respect to oral health. Materials and Methods: This was a cross sectional study among primary & middle school teachers in Chennai, India. A total of 301 teachers from 23 schools in Porur, Chennai participated in the study. The research tool was a questionnaire with 20 questions pertaining to source of oral health information, importance of primary teeth, oral habits, diet & caries, oral hygiene practices, Fluorides, periodontal disease & dental visits. Results: 77% of the teachers had no formal training on oral health. Mass media was the most popular source of oral health information.69.4% of teachers indicated that primary teeth were as important as permanent teeth. Most of the teachers rightly indicated that deleterious oral habits could lead to protrusion of teeth and sugar containing foods could cause dental caries. 77.7% of teachers chose tooth brush & paste as the best method for maintaining oral hygiene. However most of the teachers were not aware of the presence of additional oral hygiene aids or the benefits of fluorides.60.8% of the teachers reported that one should have a dental checkup done at least once a year. Conclusion: Most of the teachers were found to have good knowledge with respect to oral hygiene practices, role of sugar in dental caries, importance of primary teeth & harmful effects of oral habits. However teacher’s knowledge was found to be lacking with respect to role of fluorides, additional oral hygiene aids & sugar substitutes.

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[Dr.Latha Nirmal, Dr.Varghese Chacko, Dr.A. Ponnudurai, Dr.Vishnurekha (2014); Oral Health Knowledge among Primary and Middle School Teachers in Chennai, India Int. J. of Adv. Res. 2 (12). 0] (ISSN 2320-5407). www.journalijar.com

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