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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 449-455

Oral health practice of primary school children in the region of Madinah, Saudi Arabia: A cross-sectional study

1 Department of Restorative Dental Sciences, Taibah University, Madinah, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Prosthodontic Dental Sciences, Taibah University, Madinah, Saudi Arabia; School of Dentistry, University of Jordan,  , Jordan
3 General Dental Practitioner, Ministry of Health,  , Saudi Arabia
4 School of Dentistry, University of Jordan,   Jordan; Department of Oral Medicine, Taibah University, Madinah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Danya Hashem
Department of Restorative Dental Sciences, College of Dentistry, Taibah University, Madinah.
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JIOH.JIOH_73_21

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Aim: This large-scale study explores oral hygiene practices (OHPs) of primary school children in the region of Madinah as reported by their parents and evaluates different contributing factors on OHPs. Materials and Methods: This is a cross-sectional study in which questionnaires were distributed through the Ministry of Education’s online education platform Madrasati to parents of primary school children in the region of Madinah. Various sociodemographic factors related to OHPs were calculated. Factors related to good OHP were given one mark with the maximum score of 8 marks. The multivariate analysis of variance (Manova) test was used to explore the effect of socio-economic status on scores of OHP and age of onset of tooth brushing. Results: There were a total of 2690 respondents, mostly, mothers (72.2%), Saudi nationals (84.4%), parents of children enrolled in public schools (92.8%), and those living in Al Madinah city (89.9%). OHP scores ranged between 0 and 8 with an average of 4. Means of scores were compared for various variables and were found to be significantly higher for female parents, less than 40 years of age, children in private schools, schools within the city of Madinah, parents with higher education and income, employed mothers, and parents with medical and dental insurance. The Manova test revealed significantly higher OHP scores and significantly lower age of onset of tooth brushing for higher socio-economic groups. Conclusion: Parents’ perceptions on oral health practices need improvement, which is best addressed by oral health awareness programs. Results of this large-scale study can help plan oral health services and organization of oral public health intervention programs in the region. These programs should primarily target families of the low socioeconomic status, particularly those with insufficiently educated parents who reside outside the city of Madinah.

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