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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 229-232

Oral hygiene practices and awareness among first-year students of UG professional courses in Rajahmundry: A comparative cross-sectional study


Department of Periodontics, GSL Dental College and Hospital, NH-16, Jagannadhapuram Agraharam, Andhra Pradesh, India

Date of Submission01-Dec-2020
Date of Acceptance10-Apr-2021
Date of Web Publication22-Mar-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Anupama Masapu
GSL Dental College and Hospital, NH-16, Lakshmipuram, Andhra Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jdrntruhs.jdrntruhs_199_20

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  Abstract 


Introduction: Young individuals like Engineering students, Dentists and Medical practitioners play a pivotal role in raising awareness of oral health. These professionals should be equipped with a basic knowledge of oral hygiene regimen at an early age for the prevention of oral diseases.
Aim: Our study aimed to compare oral hygiene awareness and practices by evaluating the Questionnaire filled by students of first-year dental, first-year engineering, and first-year medical students in Rajahmundry.
Subjects and Methods: This prospective cross-sectional study included 50 Students each from dental, medical, and an engineering college in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh. Students were asked to fill a questionnaire pertaining to oral hygiene practice, awareness of oral health. Data was collected, tabulated and subjected to statistical analysis, and results were expressed as numbers and percentages from each group.
Results: All the data collected from the participants were analyzed using SPSS software. Inter-group comparison was made for each question using the Chi-square test. Results of this study show statistically significant outcomes in Q2, Q4, Q6, Q7, Q9, Q12, Q13 which are pertaining to frequency of dental check-ups, mechanical plaque control aids and practices.
Conclusions: Our study found that oral health awareness of dental students was marginally better than their counterparts during initial phase of graduation regarding oral hygiene knowledge and awareness. Further emphasis should be done on the health education regarding improvement in their knowledge of oral hygiene to every individual irrespective of their field on regular basis by workshops which demonstrates oral hygiene practices.

Keywords: Attitudes, dental education, dental students, oral health, oral hygiene


How to cite this article:
Masapu A, Ashok K P, Thirumalasetty S S, Sri Divya GL, Shaik AR, Aishwarya B. Oral hygiene practices and awareness among first-year students of UG professional courses in Rajahmundry: A comparative cross-sectional study. J NTR Univ Health Sci 2021;10:229-32

How to cite this URL:
Masapu A, Ashok K P, Thirumalasetty S S, Sri Divya GL, Shaik AR, Aishwarya B. Oral hygiene practices and awareness among first-year students of UG professional courses in Rajahmundry: A comparative cross-sectional study. J NTR Univ Health Sci [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Sep 24];10:229-32. Available from: https://www.jdrntruhs.org/text.asp?2021/10/4/229/339817




  Introduction Top


Oral hygiene maintenance is a key factor for good oral health.[1] Assimilation of knowledge over oral health is important to adopt self-care practices that improve oral health.[2],[3] Dentists and Medical practitioners play a pivotal role in raising awareness of oral disease prevention.[4] Early screening and proper referral by these professionals is necessary for providing access to oral health problems. Today's students are tomorrow's doctors. The knowledge and awareness they are going to acquire at present will be reflected in the future during their practice.[5]

The aim of our study was to compare oral hygiene awareness of first-year dental, first-year engineering, and first-year medical students in Rajahmundry. The objective of the study is to evaluate basic oral hygiene knowledge and awareness using a pre-validated closed-ended questionnaire[6],[7] written in the English language which was given to each one of them. We included only first-year students because second-year dental students are exposed to preclinicals where they gain knowledge on oral hygiene aspects which may contribute to bias in the study.


  Subjects And Methods Top


It is a prospective cross-sectional study in which we compare oral hygiene awareness among students of first BDS, first B. Tech., and first MBBS students in Rajahmundry. Sample size was calculated by using: Where N = population size (150), e = Allowable errors [0.05]. This study included 50 Students each from dental, medical, and an engineering college. Students were asked to fill a questionnaire pertaining to oral hygiene practice, awareness on oral health. Data was collected and subjected to statistical analysis and results were expressed as numbers and percentages from each group.

A prevalidated 15-item close-ended questionnaire [Table 1] was distributed among all the students.
TABLE 1: QUESTIONNAIRE

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  Results Top


All statistical analyses were calculated using SPSS.Software-v20.0 and MSExcel-2007. Descriptive data were presented as Mean ± SD percentages, and Chi-square was done to find an association among various categories. A value of P < 0.05 was considered as statically significant. Inter-group comparison was made for each question using the Chi-square test that is depicted in [Table 2]. Statistically significant results are seen in Q2, Q4, Q6, Q7, Q9, Q12, Q13.{Table 2}


  Discussion Top


From the past few years, the incidence of dental diseases has significantly decreased because of adoption of a healthy lifestyle with an established effective oral preventive health programs.[3] Informing the patients about the correct oral hygiene habits and raising their awareness of how to prevent oral diseases is the responsibility of oral health care providers.[6]

Q1 was asked to assess how they perceive oral hygiene. Q2 was included to know how often they visit dentist which shows how much they are inclined towards oral health. MBBS (42.1%) students perceived their oral hygiene as excellent compared to BDS (31.6%) and B-TECH (26.3%) students. B-tech (52.8%), MBBS (25%) students were visiting dentists more frequently than BDS (22.2%) students. This infers that as first-year dental students have better knowledge on oral health diseases compared to their counterparts, they visit dentists only if they have oral health problems. According to Chattopadhyay et al.[8] it was reported that only 10% of dentists and 27% of physicians had undergone regular oral health check-ups from a dentist, and that too only when they had dental problems. According to Swati Pralhad et al.[9] 25% BDS students visited dentists once in a year. In a study done by Harish Kumar et al.[10] 84%dental students visited dentists more frequently.

In our study, 46.6%, BDS students tend to visit the dentist only when they have a problem, which is in accordance with the study done by Daya D, et al.[7] Although dental students are aware of oral health problems, the need for treatment is often underestimated.[7]

Q3, Q4, Q5, Q6, Q7, Q8, Q9 are based on knowledge of mechanical plaque control practiced by students so that the results will give us information regarding their oral hygiene performances. In our study, 43.6% B-tech students brush twice daily where as 27% BDS students tend to do that, which is in contradiction with a study done by R Neeraja et al.[11] B-tech students prefer to brush with medium bristles (53.8%) and tooth powder and for longer durations because they lack the knowledge about abrasives used in tooth powder. They prefer to change the toothbrush once a year due to a lack of knowledge on the fraying of bristles. BDS students prefer soft-bristled toothbrushes, which is in accordance with a study done by Basak Dogana et al. which suggests that they have better knowledge on oral hygiene practices.[6]

Q10, Q11, Q12, Q13, Q14, Q15 are based on knowledge and usage of interdental cleansing aids and mouth wash. By these questions we assess the students' knowledge on interdental cleansing aids, mouth washes and its proper usage. The use of interdental cleaning aids and mouth wash is higher in B-TECH students than dental and medical students. This correlates with the study done by Bennadi D et al., in which 18% of the dental students practiced interdental aids regularly.[12] The use of mouth wash was less in dental students because they may know side effects due to unnecessary and prolonged use of mouth rinses.

In our study percentage of BDS students using floss and interdental brush is less but idea of the correct usage of interdental cleansing ideas and mouth wash was slightly higher which is not statistically significant. The findings of this study highlight that even the dental students had rather low oral-health awareness in their initial years in dental education which is in accordance with the study done by Darivemula Daya et al.[7]

The main objective of dental education is to train students who can motivate patients to adopt good oral hygiene.[13] The knowledge and practice of interdental aids can be improved with increasing levels of education.

Oral hygiene measures such as brushing, interdental aids and mouth rinses aids in maintaining oral health.[14] So in our Questionnaire, we included questions mostly regarding tooth oral hygiene aids and instructions.

The limitation in this study is that we relied on self-reported information and such information is often subject to response bias, and this response may have been influenced by social acceptability. This study is limited with a questionnaire. To research the effect of education, cross-sectional and longitudinal comparisons would be more useful. Clinical examination besides questionnaire would probably affirm the results.


  Conclusions Top


In our study, we found that oral health awareness of first-year dental students was marginally better than medical and B-tech students but it is not statistically significant. Further emphasis on oral health is necessary for undergraduate training to improve oral health knowledge, attitude, and practice. It is advised to conduct workshops, camps, awareness programs to demonstrate oral hygiene practices as early as possible in the professional courses.

These students are future dental and medical care providers who will act as role models for oral health education among individuals and the community at large. High awareness regarding oral self-care among oral health care providers enables them to assess their patients oral health condition and to motivate their patients. It may help them to spread oral awareness in the general population.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

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Sujatha B, Yavagal P, Gomez MS. Assessment of oral health awareness among undergraduate medical students in Davangere city: A cross-sectional survey. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent 2014;12:43-6.  Back to cited text no. 5
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Chattopadhyay A. Self assessed oral health awareness and unmet demands among medical and dental professionals in Calcutta. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 1990;18:163-4.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
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Pralhad S, Thomas B. Periodontal awareness in different healthcare professionals: A questionnaire survey. J Educ Ethics Dent 2011;1:64-7.  Back to cited text no. 9
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Kumar H, Behura S, Ramachandra S, Nishat R, Dash K, Mohiddin G. Oral health knowledge, attitude, and practices among dental and medical students in Eastern India – A comparative study. J Int Soc Prev Community Dent 2017;7:58-63.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
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Neeraja R, Kayalvizhi G, Sangeetha P. Oral health attitudes and behavior among a group of dental students in Bangalore, India. Eur J Dent 2011;5:163-7.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
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Bennadi D, Halappa M, Kshetrimayum N. Self reported knowledge and practice of interdental aids among group of dental students, Tumkur, India. J Interdiscip Dent 2013;3:159-62.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
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Rahman B, Kawas SA. The relationship between dental health behavior, oral hygiene and gingival status of dental students in the United Arab Emirates. Eur J Dent 2013;7:22-7.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
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Introduction
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