Published: 2021-08-27

Oral hygiene behaviour and practices of urban slum population: a cross-sectional study

Shriprasad B. Alure, Arun S. Dodamani, Prashanthkumar Vishwakarma, Vardhaman M. Jain, Gaurav V. Mali, Gunderao P. Kulkarni


Background: Poor oral hygiene is a major etiological factor for oral diseases. Urban slums are identified as a risk group population as the burden of oral diseases is high among them. So, the aim of the study was to evaluate oral hygiene status among the urban slum population.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out on 480 urban slum people aged between 18 to 75 years. A cluster random sampling method was adopted. Data were collected by structured questionnaire. The questionnaire included information related to patient’s knowledge, attitude, and practices related to their oral hygiene. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data.

Results: The majority of people brushed their teeth once a daily (58.3%) by using a toothbrush and toothpaste (65%) followed by mishri and charcoal. 81.7% of people did not use any other oral hygiene aid. The majority of people did not use interdental aids, tongue cleaner, mouthwash. The majority of people (72%) know the harmful effect of tobacco still they consume various forms of tobacco. The results showed an acute lack of oral hygiene awareness and practices as well as the effect of poor oral hygiene on systemic health.

Conclusions: There is a need to educate the urban slum population regarding proper dental care, oral hygiene methods, and prevention of dental diseases through dentists, outreach programs, effective oral health education, and promotion programs to make healthy individuals and healthy society.


Attitude, Knowledge, North Maharashtra, Oral diseases, Oral hygiene practices, Urban slum

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