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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-7

Oral health-related behaviors and dental pain among children in Saudi Arabia

Department of Public Health, College of Public Health, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, KSA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ali Saad R. Alsubaie
Associate Professor, Department of Public Health, College of Public Health, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jioh.jioh_253_18

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Aims: Dental hygiene and oral health status are essential components of health throughout life. The purpose of the study was to investigate the oral health-related behaviors and experienced teeth pain, as well as their correlates, among male schoolchildren in Saudi Arabia. Material and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted recruiting 10 elementary schools, Saudi Arabia. The total sample size was 725 schoolchildren (aged 7–12 years). Pretested structured questionnaire was used to collect the data using a multistage stratified-random sampling procedure. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses were used to examine the association between variables. Results: All of the children (100%) did not have the habit of using tooth flossing regularly. The majority (62.5%) of the children did not have the habit of daily brushing, and only 11.8% brushed their teeth twice or more daily. About 56% missed/skipped visiting dentists in the past 12 months and 34.5% of the children complained a frequent toothache. Daily teeth brushing was significantly associated with young age (odds ratio [OR] = 0.5; P < 0.001), consuming fruits daily (OR = 2.3; P < 0.001) consuming vegetables daily (OR = 2.1; P < 0.001), and visit to dentist in the past 12 months (OR = 1.6; P = 0.010). The frequent toothache was positively associated with daily consumption of carbonated drinks (OR = 1.6; P = 0.005), sweets (OR = 1.8; P = 0.009), and visit to dentist (OR = 1.5; P = 0.010), and inversely associated with daily dairy products consumption (OR = 0.7; P = 0.020). Conclusions: Children's oral hygiene and oral health status were found to be poor and associated with their dietary habits. Preventive school health programs are required for better adaption of oral health behaviors and to maintain good oral health status among children.

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