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Oral health knowledge, attitudes, practices and caries experience among 10-12-year-olds in two children's homes in Nairobi.

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A COMMUNITY DENTISTRY PROJECT SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF DENTAL SURGERY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI
Investigator: EDALIA LAURA GWAHALLA V2812380/04
Supervisors Internal: Dr. Mua B.N, BDS, MPH, POST GRADUATE DIPLOMA STI (Nbi). Department of Periodontology / Community and Preventive Dentistry School of Dental Science UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI.
External: Dr. Kemoli A.M, BDS (Nbi), DGDP RCS (Eng), MSc (A'dam) Department of Paediatric and Orthodontic Dentistry School of Dental science UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI.

 

 

ABSTRACT
Tooth decay is one of the most common disorders that occurs in children and young adults and the most important cause of tooth loss in younger people. Previous studies have established a positive correlation between knowledge, attitude, practices and caries experience in a community.
This was a descriptive cross-sectional study aimed at determining the oral health knowledge, attitude, practices and caries experience of children aged 10-12 years at
Thomas Bamado and Kabete Children's home in Nairobi. A total of 52 children were examined under natural light, in addition every subject responded to a questionnaire which was provided.
The results showed 33(63%) of the children were able to identify tooth decay as a disease affecting teeth and majority of the respondents 44(85%) attributed it to eating a lot of sweets and sugary foods. A good number 30(58%) felt tooth decay could be
prevented by brushing one's teeth after every meal while 15(29%) felt it could be prevented by avoiding sugary foods. The children's attitudes towards oral health was positive, many of them 40(80%) reported that healthy teeth were very important and majority of them 46(88%) felt that it was important to retain one's teeth throughout
life. Majority of the children 41(79%) brushed their teeth after every meal, however they reported a high sugar intake with 32(62%) reporting frequent intake of sweets
and sugary foods.
The overall DMFT was 1.15. This is lower than the stipulated W.H.O levels which is 3 for 12 year olds. This could be due to the fact that the study was conducted in a developing country. The mean for decayed teeth was 1.04 which was higher than the
mean for missing-O.l 0 and filled-0.02. The high level of decayed teeth indicates that there is a very high percentage of unmet treatment needs.
Dental Health Care should be made more accessible to children's homes and the children should be educated about the harmful effects of sugary foods on oral health.

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