Oral health problems and treatment seeking behaviour of school going children and adolescents in Palampur area of Kangra district in Himachal Pradesh, India
Keywords:Children and adolescents, Dental attendance, Oral health behavior, Tooth brushing
Background: Poor oral health is still a major burden for populations throughout the world, particularly in developing countries. However, it could not receive proper attention in our country. Present study was conducted mainly to investigate oral health behavior of school going children and adolescents.
Methods: Cross-sectional study was conducted during March 2022 to July 2022 among 268 students aged 6 to 19 years using stratified multistage random sampling technique in Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, India.
Results: Among all 268 respondents including 118 (44%) females and 150 (56%) males, 116 (43.2%) respondents were aware of oral health problems. There were 251 (93.6%) respondents not aware of good oral hygiene practices and 224 (83.6%) suffered oral problems during last one year. Only 168 (62.7%) out of 268 respondents consulted dentists. Whereas, 231 (86.2%) were scared of consulting during covid-19 lockdown. Among those who consulted, 87 (51.7%) didn’t face any problem during dental checkup and satisfaction with consultation was reported by 146 (86.9%) respondents. High cost of treatment (41.7%) fear of absence from schools (40.0%) followed by misconception that treatment was not necessary (31.0%) came out to be the most common reasons on non-consultation.
Conclusions: Present study reported high prevalence of oral health problems and lack of awareness regarding good oral hygiene practices among respondents. Oral health education should be imparted among children and adolescents for adopting good hygiene practices and timely seeking dental health care.
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