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ERIC Number: EJ922514
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 41
ISSN: ISSN-0965-4283
Oral Health Status and Behaviour of Mauritians Visiting Private Dental Clinics
Gunsam, P. Pugo; Banka, S.
Health Education, v111 n1 p34-48 2011
Purpose: This paper seeks to assess the oral health status and behaviour of a sample of the Mauritian population visiting private dental clinics. Design/methodology/approach: Oral health status was determined using the World Health Organization (Decayed, Missing, Filled Teeth (DMFT) index indicating the prevalence of caries, and factors associated with oral health behaviour were investigated. Cross-sectional data on oral health behaviour and demographic characteristics were collected through a structured 22-item self-designed survey questionnaire administered to a randomly selected sample of 250 Mauritians visiting private dental clinics. The data were statistically analysed to examine associations between oral health variables. Findings: Analyses revealed significant correlations between DMFT scores, age and socioeconomic status. Over 80 per cent of the children below the age of 11 had DMFT scores higher than the acceptable WHO value of 3, and most adults older than 45 years had DMFT scores higher than 7. A large majority (85 per cent) reported using both fluoride toothpaste and tongue scrapers, but none reported using dental floss. Those who brushed teeth only once daily had high DMFT scores. Among males, smokers had significantly higher mean DMFT than non-smokers. Females demonstrated better rates of good oral health behaviour than males. Respondents from higher socioeconomic classes were between three to five times more likely to visit dental clinics than those from lower classes. Practical implications: This study reveals the need for intervention programmes to raise awareness of good oral health practices among the Mauritian people. Originality/value: The results identified the high risk groups and highlighted the need for dental education, taking into consideration socioeconomic status and sociodemographics in order to enable Mauritians to become oral-hygiene-conscious and active partners for the management of oral health and prevention of systemic diseases. (Contains 8 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mauritius