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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 16-20

Oral health practices and associated caries experience among secondary school students in Lagos State, Nigeria


Department of Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, College of Health Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Modupeoluwa Omotunde Soroye
Department of Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, College of Health Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Rivers State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2249-4987.201399

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Aim: The distribution and severity of oral diseases are significantly influenced by oral hygiene practices. The aim of this study was to assess the oral health practices among secondary school students in Lagos State, Nigeria and investigate the influence of oral hygiene practices on caries experience. Materials and Methods: Questionnaires were administered and dental examinations conducted on 598 schoolchildren aged 11–20 years. The students were recruited from two Local Government Areas of Lagos State. Statistical significance was determined at P < 0.05 using Chi-square tests. Results: Majority of the participants (57.6%) had never visited the dentist. “Lack of pain” (31.1%) and “no reason” (42.5%) were recorded as the reason for not visiting the dentist. While toothbrush alone was used as a cleaning item by 73.9% of the students, 70.4% used fluoride-containing toothpaste, and 76.9% brush their teeth twice daily. The prevalence of dental caries was 9.7%. Caries prevalence was significantly associated with the use of fluoride-containing toothpaste (P = 0.015) and frequency of cleaning (P = 0.04). Respondents who used fluoride-containing toothpaste were about 2 times less likely to develop dental caries (odd ratio [OR] = 0.425 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.45–1.32) and those who brush twice or more daily were 2.4 times less likely to develop caries (OR = 0.44 95% CI: 0.20–0.94). Conclusion: The oral health practices of the participants were not satisfactory. Although the prevalence of dental caries was low, it was significantly influenced by frequency of toothbrushing and the use of toothpaste containing fluoride.


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