A study of oral health promotion activities in India

Susheel Nalli, Shamanna Ramaswamy Bindiganavale, B. Uday Kumar Chowdary


Background: Schools provide an important background for health promotion, as they reach around 200 million school children across India, and through them the school staff, their families, and the population as a whole. Health promotional messages can be reinforced throughout the most influential stages of children’s life, enabling them to develop lifelong sustainable attitudes and skills. Objective of the study was to identify the best suitable method of oral health promotional activity, and to identify states where there is deficiency related to oral health promotion, and to create awareness to ensure long term benefits.

Methods: This current academic research reviews articles related to school based oral health programs from 2000 to 2014 which are published in English. Electronic search for literature related to school based oral health promotional activities across India using medline, pubmed, WHO, MOHFW. The articles selected were divided into five categories; divisions were based on those originating from North, South, East, West and Central India. Inclusion and Exclusion criteria - articles and reviews related to oral health promotion in children aged between 6 - 17 years were included and those adults are excluded. Fourteen articles were found to be relevant to school oral health promotion and hence were included in the present review. Data from all the fourteen articles was analyzed to determine the type of oral health promotional activity and the states in which they were organized.

Results: There was paucity of oral health promotion in the eastern states of India. Oral health promotion at schools in Indian context is infrequently offered by the oral health professionals, oral health education is offered to school children as a part of dental checkup and treatment camps that are organized infrequently by the educational institutions.

Conclusions: The concept of utilizing teachers for frequent oral health education and screening of any gross deposits of food debris or calculus and dental caries is practicable. Also regular oral health education by teachers was more effective than irregular oral health education by the oral health professionals.


Dental health, Oral hygiene, Oral health promotion, School oral health program

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