Raghavendra Shanbhog1, Veena Raju2, Bhojraj Nandlal1
1 Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, JSS Dental College and Hospital, Mysore, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Orthodontics, JSS Dental College and Hospital, Mysore, Karnataka, India

DOI: 10.4103/0976-9668.127297


Background: Information on oral health knowledge and practice in orphanage house children is essential for healthcare policy makers to promote oral health resources and address oral health needs of this unprivileged group of society. Objectives: To assess the source of information, level of knowledge, attitude, and practice toward oral hygiene and oral health among socially handicapped children from city of Mysore, Karnataka state, India. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 488 children of 12-14 years of age living in five different orphanage houses of Mysore district. Data regarding knowledge and practice were collected through structured questionnaire and oral health status by type III clinical oral examinations by two trained examiners. Decayed, Missing, Filled, Teeth (DMFT) and OH I-S was then correlated with the above information. Spearman’s correlation test was used to measure the correlation. Results: The final data analysis included 488 children, of which 216 (44.26%) were boys and 272 (55.74%) were girls. A total of 88.5% children showed one or more decayed teeth in their oral cavity, with an overall mean DMFT of 3.55. Among DMF, component D showed maximum value with mean 3.42, followed by components F and M. Correlation between source of information, knowledge, and attitude for oral health to oral hygiene index (OHI-S; P < 0.05) and gingival index (P < 0.001) showed highly significant negative values. Correlation between oral hygiene practice to OHI-S, DMFT, and gingival index (P < 0.001) showed highly significant (P < 0.001) negative values. Conclusions: Although children of orphanage have positive attitude toward oral health, knowledge and practice among children are still below the satisfactory level. The children did not receive appropriate information or, if informed, were not re-evaluated or reinforced for its practical application by the concerned authority. The findings of this study suggest that awareness on the importance of oral health needs to be enhanced among the orphanage children of Mysore.

Keywords: Knowledge, oral health, practice, socially handicapped children

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