Adolescents’ knowledge of oral health: A population-based study
AbstractPurpose: To evaluate the knowledge on oral health of 10-19 year-old adolescents from the city of Campina Grande, PB, in the Northeast region of Brazil. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted with a random sample of 679 adolescents attending public schools in Campina Grande, PB, Brazil. Data were collected using a semi-structured questionnaire and analyzed with Chi-square and Fischer’s exact tests. Results: Most information received by the participants concerned dental diseases (81%, P=0.026), and the dentist (66%, P=0.475) was the most frequently cited source. Approximately half of the subjects brushed their teeth 3 to 4 times a day (50%, P=0.039). A total of 77% (P=0.037) had received information on how to brush their teeth and 46% (P=0.143) on what type of brush should be used; 51% (P < 0.01) affirmed to use dental floss and 49% (P=0.201) had received information on how to use it. Most adolescents visited the dentist during the previous year (57%, P=0.312), and prevention was the most frequent reason (50%, P=0.115). Gender was significantly associated with some variables, especially those of behavioral nature. Conclusion: The findings of this survey demonstrate the importance of health strategies to positively influence adolescents who may serve as health multipliers.
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