Assessment of the brushing habits in children below 6 years - a survey in semi urban areas

Pranati .T., Dhanraj M and Marian AnandBennis

Aim: To do a survey on the brushing habits of children below 6 years in semi urban areas.
Objective: This study investigates the brushing habits in children below 6 years living in semi urban areas. It also shows the percentage of people affected with caries.
Background: Brushing teeth is an important part of dental care routine. Improper brushing habits results in the formation of plaque which eventually leads to the formation of cavities. Proper brushing habits should be taught to children for maintaining their oral hygiene and to prevent cavities. This study shows the amount of exposure about the benefits of proper brushing among parents and children belonging to semi urban areas.
Methods: A survey was conducted among randomly selected 118 school children, in a semi urban area (Chittoor district) whose age is below six years. The questionnaire was given to parents as children would not be able to understand or respond to it.
Reasons: One of the major causes for the occurrence of cavities in children is poor brushing habits. This study is to create awareness among parents about the importance of proper brushing habits and to train their children to develop good oral hygiene.
Results: Among 118 children, 82 brushed their teeth only once a day i.e. 69.49%.Majority didn't use other cleaning materials like mouthwash, interdental brush and floss (96 children i.e. 81.36%), 21 children i.e. 17.79% used mouthwash and 1 girl uses floss i.e. 0.84% .Only 20 children (16.95%) visit dentist regularly, 80 children don't visit (67.79%) and 18 children (15.25%) visited dentist at times but not regularly.
Conclusion: This study exposes that there is a lacunae in the awareness of oral hygiene but not to alarming levels.However further dental awareness measures needs to be initiated to address this issue.

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