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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 12-16

Oral health status and oral health behaviors of 12-year-old urban and rural school children in Udupi, Karnataka, India: A cross-sectional study

1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Government Dental College, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India
2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Himachal Dental College, Sunder Nagar, Himachal Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Arun Singh Thakur
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Government Dental College, Shimla - 171 001, Himachal Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2277-4696.205441

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Objectives: The objective of this study is to assess the oral health status and oral health behavior among 12-year-old urban and rural school children and to evaluate the relative effect of sociobehavioral risk factors on caries experience. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted which included urban and rural subgroups of 12-year-old school children. The final study population covered two groups: 12 years rural (n = 261) and urban school children (n = 264). Data were collected and compared using Chi-square test. Logistic regression analysis was done to assess the importance of variables associated with dental caries. Results: Highly significant differences (P < 0.001) were observed between rural and urban school children for the use of oral hygiene aids, frequency of tooth brushing, and dental services utilization. Dental caries level was significantly higher (P < 0.03) for rural children. Decayed teeth (DT) component constituted majority of decayed, missing, and filled teeth (FT) in both population. 55.6% of the rural school children required treatment compared to 42.4% of urban school children. Mean Oral Hygiene Index-Simplified values, mean DT, and FT were statistically significant for urban and rural school children. Logistic regression analysis showed that government or private school, dental care utilization, socioeconomic status, and malocclusion status were significantly associated with dental caries. Conclusion: Poor oral health and high treatment needs of children belonging to low socioeconomic background is an alarming situation. Strengthening of oral health care in the rural and underprivileged section should be priority of the policymakers.

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