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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 63-67

Assessment of oral health knowledge, attitude, and behavior among school teachers of Karad city


1 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, School of Dental Sciences, KIMSDU, Karad, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Periodontology, Shivtej Arogya Seva Sanstha's Yogita Dental College and Hospital, Ratnagiri, Maharashtra, India

Date of Submission23-Mar-2019
Date of Acceptance05-Feb-2019
Date of Web Publication15-Jul-2019

Correspondence Address:
K A Kamala
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, School of Dental Sciences, KIMSDU, Karad - 415 110, Satara, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2249-4987.262782

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  Abstract 


Aim: Teacher plays pivotal role in any educational system if they themselves are well educated; intellectually, this will add in the formation and modification of behavior of young children. Hence, the present study was undertaken with an aim to assess their knowledge, attitude, and behavior toward oral health in Karad City.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 300 school teachers of Karad City; both private and government school teachers were included in the study. Approval was obtained from the selected schools, and written informed consent was obtained before the start of the study. A self-structured questionnaire consisting of 14 questions regarding oral health knowledge, attitude, and behavior was distributed to the participants. The frequency and percentage of the data for all three sections were obtained during the analysis.
Results: Response rate was 100 % with 300 school teachers from Government and privates schools. Among them 68% teachers were aware of what gum bleeding means, 70.67% had knowledge of how to prevent gum diseases by using tooth paste. Alost all of them (100%) agreed consuming sweets affect dental health. Nearly 83.33% of teachers agreed that intake soft drinks affect dental health and also has overall impact on the health of the body. About 88.67% teachers agreed to the necessary of regular visits to dentist and 3.67% teachers found toothache is the driving factor to the dentist. About 98.67% used tooth brush and tooth paste to clean their teeth and 73.67% of them brushed their teeth once daily.
Conclusion: Overall oral health knowledge, attitude, and behavior of Karad school teachers was good.

Keywords: Attitude, knowledge, oral health, practices, school teacher


How to cite this article:
Kamala K A, Pawaskar A, Sankethguddad S, Ashwinirani S R, Sande AR. Assessment of oral health knowledge, attitude, and behavior among school teachers of Karad city. J Oral Res Rev 2019;11:63-7

How to cite this URL:
Kamala K A, Pawaskar A, Sankethguddad S, Ashwinirani S R, Sande AR. Assessment of oral health knowledge, attitude, and behavior among school teachers of Karad city. J Oral Res Rev [serial online] 2019 [cited 2019 Nov 22];11:63-7. Available from: http://www.jorr.org/text.asp?2019/11/2/63/262782




  Introduction Top


Good oral hygiene, including healthy teeth and gums, is an important part of our general health.[1] Teachers are an important and influential part of the society and play an important role in the formation modification of the behavior of young children.[2] Since school teachers provide preventive information and health promotion, it is important that their own oral health knowledge is good and their oral health behavior and attitude conform to professional recommendations.[1] Therefore, their knowledge about oral health is important for both their own oral health and the children that they are interacting with and teaching.[2]

In this regard, the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1995 has launched a global school health initiative in which the importance of schools in the delivery of health education to the school children was highlighted. The schools can provide an effective forum to enhance general as well as oral health awareness among children.[3] At present, very less data are available regarding oral health status, knowledge, and attitude among school teachers in the Indian literature. Hence, this study was initiated to assess their knowledge, attitude, and behavior toward oral health in Karad City.


  Materials and Methods Top


The present study was conducted in Karad city of Maharashtra. Before the start of the study, list of various private and government primary schools in Karad city was obtained. Simple cluster random sampling method has been used for collecting sample from the cluster of school. A study sample was taken by dividing a city into four zones. From each zone, schools were selected randomly from where total of 300 primary school teachers were selected to assess their knowledge, attitude, and behavior regarding oral health. The Institutional Ethical Committee approval was obtained (Ref. No. KIMSDU/IEC/04/2016) before commencement of the study. Approval was obtained from the selected schools, and a letter was sent to the selected schools explaining the purpose of study and the procedures that would be fulfilled during this conduct before the start of study. Written informed consent was obtained from all the participants before the start of the study.

A self-structured questionnaire consisting of 14 questions regarding oral health knowledge, attitude, and behavior was pretested with a convenience sample of 25 school teachers and modified based on responses, and the survey format was finalized. The questionnaire was distributed to all the participants who were present on the scheduled date of survey, and teachers not present on the scheduled date of survey were excluded from the study. Average time of 5 min was given to answer the questionnaire.

Items included in the assessment of oral health knowledge were, meaning of bleeding gums and how to protect against it, effects of sweets and soft drinks on teeth, effect of oral health on the body, and whether toothache is an important factor to consider for treatment. Assessment of attitude was done with questions pertaining to how frequently they visit dentist, is regular visit to dentist is necessary, driving factor for the visit, and reasons for not visiting/disliking dentist. Assessment of oral health behavior included brushing activity, what type of cleaning aid they use, when and how many times they brush, and how frequently they change their brush.

The data were entered into a computer; the frequency and percentage of the data for all three sections were obtained using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) Version 20 (SPSS version 20, IBM, Armonk, NY, United states of America).


  Results Top


The response rate of this study was 100%. [Table 1] reveals the response to the knowledge section of school teachers in Karad city. Of 300 school teachers, 204 (68%) were aware of what does gum bleeding means. Less than three-fourth, i.e, 212 (70.67%) of school teachers used toothpaste, brush, and dental floss as cleaning aids, and 26 (8.67%) teachers were still unaware of various methods used for preventing gum problems. All the teachers, i.e, 300 (100%) and 250 (83.33%) were aware of consuming sweet food and soft drinks affect dental health, respectively. Of 300, only 250 (83.33%) were aware that the health of mouth and dentition impact the health of the body, and 235 (78.33%) teachers agreed that the treatment of toothache is as important as any body parts.
Table 1: Oral health knowledge of school teachers

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[Table 2] reveals the response to the attitude of school teachers toward dental health. Of 300 school teachers, only 65 (21.67%) visited the dentist regularly irrespective of disease and the majority of the teachers, i.e, 235 (78.33%) visited only when they experienced pain. About 266 (88.67%) and 221 (73.67%) teachers agreed that regular visits to dentist are necessary and toothache is the driving factor to the dentist, respectively. About 193 (64.33%) teachers stated high cost as their reason behind not visiting/dislike visiting dentist, and a mere 66 (22%) teachers blamed of no nearby clinic.
Table 2: Attitude toward dentistry of school teachers

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[Table 3] reveals the response to the behavior of teachers toward dental problems. Of 300, about 204 (68%) brushed their teeth twice daily and 96 (32%) brushed only once daily. Majority of teachers, i.e, 296 (98.67%) relied on toothbrush and toothpaste to clean their teeth. About 204 (68%) of them brushed their teeth both morning and at bedtime and 213 (71%) of them changed their brush every 2 months.
Table 3: Oral health behavior of school teachers

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  Discussion Top


Teachers play a pivotal role in developing children as good role models and transmit values of life in the school and also outside the school.[1] Schools have a tremendous capacity to be supportive of programs involving preventive health and preventive dentistry for children.[4] It was found that teachers traditionally have educated children regarding oral health and often participated in school-based prevention program.[5] They are deliverers of dental health education and have many advantages over the dental profession.[6]

According to the national oral health care policy, there is proposal to train school teachers regarding how to prevent dental diseases and also to provide proper resource material for training purposes.[1] Hence, the present cross-sectional study was undertaken with an aim to know the existing knowledge, attitude, and behavior regarding oral health among the school teachers of Karad city. This study may help us to take the necessary steps to train the teachers, and in turn, improve their knowledge and habits.

In the present study, 68% of school teachers knew what does gum bleeding means and 11.67% of teachers were unaware what is gum bleeding. The results were slightly higher compared to Manjunath and Kumar[1] where 62% of teachers responded gum bleeding means inflammation of gum. About 70.67% of them used toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss to protect their teeth from gum bleeding and only 20.67% used Vitamin C. Similar results were observed in the study done by Lang et al.[7] About 70.67% agree that the brushing and flossing prevents the gum diseases. The present study's results were much higher compared to Manjunath and Kumar.[1] About 38.8% used toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss. In their study, 45% of school teachers believe that Vitamin C protects gingival tissues from bleeding. Reason for this could be traditionally, it is believed that Vitamin C or citrus fruits help prevent gum bleeding and most of the school teachers felt that Vitamin C is more effective compared to brushing with toothpaste. The present study suggests that oral health knowledge is good among school teachers.

All school teachers (100%) in the present study believe that consumption of sweets affect dental health. About 83.33% school teachers agreed that intake of soft drink will affect the dental health. The results of above study which is more compared to 61.3 % by Lang et al.,[7] 75% by Al-Tamimi and Petersen,[8] and 86.6% as reported by Manjunath and Kumar.[1] About 83.33% of school teachers agreed that dental health and oral health have impact on general health which was similar to study done by Zhu et al,[9] and much higher compared to other studies conducted by Al-Tamimi and Petersen[8] 57 % and Manjunath and Kumar[1] 78.2%. The reason for this could be now a days it has been established by many news papers and TV channels that soft drinks consist of fertilizers and acids which are harmful to both oral cavity and in general health of a person.

About 78.33% of them agreed that the treatment of tooth ache is an important as any other parts of body. Nearly 21.67% still felt that treatment of tooth ache is not important as any other part of body.

Regarding the question asked how often they visit the dentist, about 78.33% of them answered that they visit the dentist when they are in pain and only 21.67% of them agreed to regular visit to dentistry. The reason for this is in developing countries, traditionally, pain is the main motivating factor for visiting the dentist or doctor which you can see similarly in school teachers, and also, you can make out from results that oral health knowledge is poor among school teachers which is shown in their attitude also.

Nearly 88.67% felt that regular visit to dentist is necessary for proper care of the teeth which is in consistent with various studies Langet al.[7] and Lin et al.[10] The most common driving factor to visit the dentist is toothache (73.67%), followed by dentist advice (14.33%). The values were much higher compared to Manjunath and Kumar[1] and Zhu et al.[9]

Regarding behavior, 68% responded that they are brushing twice per day which is similar to other studies done by Zhu et al.[9] and Manjunath and Kumar.[1] Nearly 32% of school teachers brushed once per day. Nearly 98.67% use toothbrush and toothpaste as cleaning aid and 68% of school teachers brushed their teeth both morning and night, and only 32% of them brushed only in the morning. About 71% of school teachers change their toothbrush every 3 months followed by 29% every 2 months which is more compared to other studies done by Zhu et al.[9] and Manjunath and Kumar which may be because of the income factor since many of the school teachers belong to Group A where per monthly income is low, and people of low-socioeconomic strata tend to save money in whatever way it is possible.

Few studies with little variation were carried out by different authors compared to our study. Wyne et al.[11] conducted a study in 2002 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on 39 school teachers in their study; 97% and 28% of school teachers were aware of intake of more sweets and soft drinks will affect the dental health, respectively. About 64% used toothbrush and toothpaste to clean their teeth, and only 38.5% of them brushed their teeth once daily.

Almas et al.[12] conducted a study on 470 school teachers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In their study, they stated that 89% of males and 97.8% of females were aware of intake of sweets and soft drinks affect the dental health. About 55% of males and 63% of females visited the dentist only when they experienced pain. About 52% of males and 49% of females used toothbrush and paste to clean their teeth.

A cross-sectional study was conducted on 797 school teachers of rural and urban, Lucknow, India, using WHO Oral Health Survey by Singh et al.[13] to assess the knowledge, attitude, practices, and oral health status. The results of this study showed that most of the urban (82.83%:328) and rural (94.76%:380) school teachers had good knowledge in relation to periodontal diseases in comparison to dental caries. The mean decayed, missing, and filled Teeth was more among urban males (2.54 ± 2.40) and rural females (2.43 ± 2.57), respectively. The prevalence of periodontal diseases was higher among urban and rural female school teachers. The findings revealed that urban and rural teachers had fair knowledge about oral diseases but less knowledge related to preventive dentistry.

Ain[14] carried out a cross-sectional questionnaire study on 530 school teachers of various government and private schools of Srinagar, Kashmir, India, to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practice of school teachers toward oral health. Around 36% of the teachers believed that dental problems can be prevented by brushing and rinsing mouth regularly, visiting dentists every 6 months, and avoiding sweet and sticky foods. Nearly 47% of the private school teachers and 20.2% of government school teachers agreed that they try to impart oral health education to their students in schools. Although not all the teachers have attempted to give oral health education to their children, almost all of them have agreed that it benefits children. This study highlights the need to tailor oral health counseling of teachers.

Ahmad[2] carried out a cross-sectional study on four males and three females school teachers selected using convenient sampling method. In this study, 89% used toothbrush and 85% used toothpaste to clean their teeth. About 80% of females had good knowledge compared to 52% of males, whereas 82% of males had good attitude compared to 61% of females. From the study, it was concluded that primary school teachers had acceptable knowledge and attitude regarding oral health. The results of all these studies were much lower compared to our study. The school teachers of Karad city had overall good knowledge, attitude, and behavior toward oral health care.


  Conclusion Top


Though the present study concludes that, school teachers of Karad city had overall good knowledge, attitude, and behavior towards oral health care. There is a tremendous need for improving oral health knowledge and attitude among school teachers. Continued dental education programs and teachers training programs should be organized to impart scientific knowledge to teachers to improve their oral health. Efforts should be encouraged to educate teachers about modern preventive dentistry for oral health promotion among school children. It would be beneficial to include school teachers effectively in oral healthcare delivery system, especially school oral healthcare programs.

These improvements can be made through regular training of school teachers by oral health materials, seminars, and other such methods. These steps, in turn, help them and also utilize these teachers in imparting oral health education to the children since we all know they are the role models for the school children and success of society at large.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Manjunath G, Kumar NN. Oral health knowledge, attitude and practices among school teachers in Kurnool – Andhra Pradesh. J Oral Health Comm Dent 2013;7:17-23.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Ahmad MS. Oral health knowledge and attitude among primary school teachers of Madinah, Saudi Arabia. J Contemp Dent Pract 2015;16:275-9.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Global School Health Initiative. World Health Organization; 1995. Available from: http://www.who.int/school_youth_health/gshi/en/Accessed. [Last accessed on 2019 Apr 10].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Kenney JB. The role and responsibility of schools in affecting dental health status – A potential yet unrealized. J Public Health Dent 1979;39:262-7.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Mullins R, Sprouse W. Dental health knowledge of elementary school teachers in bowling Green, Kentucky, 1972. J Am Soc Prev Dent 1973;3:60-5.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Kay EJ, Baba SP. Designing dental health education materials for schoolteachers: Formative evaluation research. J Clin Pediatr Dent 1991;15:195-8.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Lang P, Woolfolk MW, Faja BW. Oral health knowledge and attitudes of elementary schoolteachers in Michigan. J Public Health Dent 1989;49:44-50.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
al-Tamimi S, Petersen PE. Oral health situation of schoolchildren, mothers and schoolteachers in Saudi Arabia. Int Dent J 1998;48:180-6.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Zhu L, Petersen PE, Wang HY, Bian JY, Zhang BX. Oral health knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of adults in China. Int Dent J 2005;55:231-41.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Lin HC, Wong MC, Wang ZJ, Lo EC. Oral health knowledge, attitudes, and practices of Chinese adults. J Dent Res 2001;80:1466-70.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Wyne AH, Al-Ghorabi BM, Al-Asiri YA, Khan NB. Caries prevalence in Saudi primary schoolchildren of Riyadh and their teachers' oral health knowledge, attitude and practices. Saudi Med J 2002;23:77-81.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Almas K, Al-Malik TM, Al-Shehri MA, Skaug N. The knowledge and practices of oral hygiene methods and attendance pattern among school teachers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Med J 2003;24:1087-91.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Singh P, Singh I, Gupta ND, Tewari RK, Agrawal N, Yadav P. Oral health knowledge, attitude, practices and oral health status among school teachers in and around Lucknow, UP. IOSR J Dent Med Sci 2015;14:111-6.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.
Ain TS. Knowledge, attitude and practice of school teachers towards oral health in Srinagar, Kashmir. IOSR J Dent Med Sci 2016;15:88-90.  Back to cited text no. 14
    



 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]



 

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