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Title: Knowledge and behaviors of oral health in children: a cross-sectional and correlational study
Author: Seabra, Rosa Maria Ferreira
Reis, Fernanda Ramos Matias
Novo, Verónica Almeida Cunha
Simões, Cláudia Maria Antunes Rego
Sá Couto, Pedro
Simões, João Lindo
Keywords: Oral health
Oral hygiene
Knowledge and behavior
Nursing community intervention
Issue Date: 21-Oct-2021
Publisher: Medtext Publications
Abstract: Background: Due to their high prevalence and incidence, oral diseases represent one of the main health problems of children and adolescents. The early diagnosis of oral diseases and the identification of risk factors are essential to establish preventive measures, and nursing community intervention programs can reduce the negative impact of complications. Purpose: Understanding the influence of knowledge of oral health on the behaviors of 235 children attending the first cycle of basic education in a group of schools in a municipality in the Central Region of Portugal. Methods: A quantitative, cross-sectional, and correlational study was carried out, integrated in the community intervention project “Smiles at School”. Data collection was carried out using a questionnaire built for the purpose, and all inherent ethical requirements were met. In the data analysis, descriptive statistics were used for categorical variables and inferential statistics for the analysis of the association between two categorical variables. Results: Children of older age and with a higher level of education and adequate oral hygiene habits have more knowledge. Children with knowledge of oral health report that the intake of cariogenic foods is sporadic and once or twice a week, with a statistically significant association. Boys have the most deficient hygiene habits. Regarding the ingestion of cariostatic foods, the pattern of consumption is found mostly at meals and at mealtimes. Conclusions/Implications to Practice: Children with knowledge of oral health have a lower number of decayed teeth and a greater number of treated teeth, have better oral hygiene behaviors, regularly carry out oral health surveillance and have correct eating habits. This confirms that knowledge of children/adolescents influences their behavior in the context of oral health. Projects in the field of oral health must be developed to empower and improve the knowledge and behavior of children/adolescents.
Peer review: yes
ISSN: 2766-5569
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