Browsing by Author "Yazdani, Reza"

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  • Yazdani, Reza (2009)
    The aim of the present study was to assess dental health and its determinants among 15-year-olds in Tehran, Iran and to evaluate the impact of a school-based educational intervention on their oral cleanliness and gingival health. The total sample comprised 506 students. Data collection was performed through a clinical dental examination and a self-administered structured questionnaire. This questionnaire covered the student s background information, socio-economic status, self-perceived dental health, tooth-brushing, and smoking. The clinical dental examination covered caries experience, gingival status, dental plaque status, and orthodontic treatment needs. Participation was voluntary, and all students responded to the questionnaire. Only three students refused the clinical dental examination. The intervention was based on exposing students to dental health education through a leaflet and a videotape designed for the present study. The outcome examinations took place 12 weeks after the baseline among the three groups of the intervention trial (leaflet, videotape, and control). High participation rates at the baseline and scanty drop-outs (7%) in the intervention speak for reliability of the results. Mean value of the DMFT (D=decayed, M=missing, and F=filled teeth) index of the 15-year-olds was 2.1, which comprised DT=0.9, MT=0.2, and FT=1.0 with no gender differences. Dental plaque existed on at least one index tooth of all students, and healthy periodontium (Community Periodontal Index=0) was found in less than 10% of students. Need for caries treatment existed in 40% of students, for scaling in 24%, for oral hygiene instructions in all, and for orthodontic treatment in 26%. Students with the highest level of parents education had fewer dental caries (36% vs. 48%) and less dental plaque (77% vs. 88%). Of all students, 78% assessed their dental health as good or better. Even more of those with their DMFT=0 (73% vs. 27%) and DT=0 (68% vs. 32%) assessed their dental health as good or better. Smokers comprised 5% of the boys and 2% of the girls. Smoking was common among students of less-educated parents (6% vs. 3%). Of all students, 26% reported twice-daily tooth-brushing; girls (38% vs. 15%) and those of higher socio-economic background (33% vs. 17%) did so more frequently. The best predictors for a good level of oral cleanliness were female gender or twice-daily tooth-brushing. The present study demonstrated that a school-based educational intervention can be effective in the short term in improving the oral cleanliness and gingival health of adolescents. At least 50% reduction in numbers of teeth with dental plaque compared to baseline was achieved by 58% of the students in the leaflet group, by 37% in the videotape group, and by 10% of the controls. Corresponding figures for gingival bleeding were 72%, 64%, and 30%. For improving the oral cleanliness and gingival health of adolescents in countries such as Iran with a developing oral health system, school-based educational intervention should be established with focus on oral self-care and oral health education messages. Emphasizing the immediate gains from good oral hygiene, such as fresh breath, clean teeth, and attractive appearance should be key aspects for motivating these adolescents to learn and maintain good dental health, whilst in planning school-based dental health intervention, special attention should be given to boys and those with lower socio-economic status. Author s address: Reza Yazdani, Department of Oral Public Health, Institute of Dentistry, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 41, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland. E-mail: