Format of Original
International Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry
Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the oral hygiene facilitators and barriers for 10 years old Greek children, via a questionnaire and clinical examination.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of 266, 10 years old, children recruited from schools in 3 locations in Greece. Data were collected via questionnaires and clinical examination. Questionnaires referred to children's oral hygiene knowledge, behavior and attitude as well as parents' oral hygiene behavior and educational level. Children were clinically examined by two calibrated pediatric dentists using a WHO probe and artificial light to assess dental plaque (hygiene index-HI), gingivitis (simplified gingival index-GIs) and dental caries (DMFT-BASCD criteria).
Results: Regarding oral hygiene knowledge, although 80% of the children were literate of the proper means of oral hygiene, only 58.64% brushed their teeth twice daily and 36.84% used dental floss. Children's oral hygiene knowledge was positively correlated with both parental brushing frequency (ρ = 0.175, p < 0.05) and educational level (ρ = -0.216, p < 0.05). Toothpaste use was reported by 92.11% of the children. Regarding children's attitude, 62.28% were concerned whether their teeth were clean, with girls showing greater concern than boys (p < 0.001). Their reported beliefs regarding brushing avoidance were boredom (84.06%), low oral health literacy (73.91%) and forgetfulness (56.52%).
Conclusion: Oral hygiene facilitators were found to be the concern about how clean were their teeth, oral health literacy of both children and parents and toothpaste appeal to children. Oral hygiene barriers were children's boredom, low oral health literacy, forgetfulness and low socioeconomic level.