The Relation Between Eating Habits, Oral Hygiene, Serum Calcium Level and Level of Dental Caries Among Young Adolescents
Keywords:Dental caries, Socio-demographic characteristics, Serum calcium, Dietary habits, Oral health care, Adolescents
Background: All over the world, increasing interest was directed to dental caries as one of the most prevalent oral diseases and the most important global oral health burdens among pupils. Eating habits and oral hygiene practices play a pivotal role in dental caries prevalence and management. Objective (s) of study: The main objective of this study was to highlight the relationship between dental caries level and eating habits of school adolescent pupils, in order to help healthcare providers develop appropriate program for dental caries prevention. However, some other risk factors were also studied. Subjects & Methods: Across sectional study involved 115 pupils at Al-Azhar institutions. The sample consisted of subjects of both genders (55 males and 60 females) aged from 12 to 15 years or
more who had been diagnosed with dental caries according to DMFT index by a specialist dentist. The studied variables included socio-demographic characteristics, serum calcium level, eating habits and oral hygiene practices. Results: Results shows that 60% of study subjects have a moderate level of dental caries, while those with high and low levels were 19.1% and 13.9%, respectively. The majority of subjects with high level were females (83.3%). In the same time, high significant negative correlations between the level of dental caries and both of calcium level in serum (P=0.000) and eating habits score of all study subjects (p=0.024) were reported. Besides, although 76.5% of subjects of different levels were of middle socio-economic status, no significant difference was found (P=0.201). Similarly, most of study subjects with different levels were found to follow bad oral hygiene practices, i.e. brushing their teeth once daily, do not use interdental cleaning aids, do not rinse their mouths after meals, do not visit dentist for checkup, changing their tooth brushes only when broken and were not aware of tongue cleaning. However, no statistically significant differences were recorded. Conclusion: Female sex, unhealthy eating habits and bad oral hygiene practices threaten the dental health of young teens. Accordingly, oral health care and dietary behavior modification are recommended in order to improve the oral health status of young adolescents.
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