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Aims: Good oral health is essential for the well-being of Human being. However lack of knowledge, guidance and poor oral hygiene practices may lead to poor oral hygiene and predispose one to oral health diseases. This study assessed oral health knowledge and behavior related to oral hygiene status among selected secondary school students in Kasese District, Western Uganda.
Study Design: A descriptive cross sectional study was carried out among students from selected secondary schools of Kasese District, Western Uganda. Stratified sampling technique was used to recruit 278 participants among students of the selected secondary schools.
Methodology: Data was collected using closed and open ended questionnaires. The dependent variable was based on the participant’s responses if he/she had any decayed, missing or filled teeth (DMFT). Bivariate analysis was used to compute crude odds ratios for predisposing factors. The significant variables were then included in the multivariate model to obtain adjusted odds ratios for risks factors associated with occurrence of DMFT.
Results: Out of 278 participants interviewed, 108 (38.8%), 95% CI= (0.3325-0.4468) students had DMFT. There was a statistical significant relationship between the level of the knowledge and behavior of the students and their oral health status. For the Students who had never visited a dentist (95% CI; 1.177-3.315, aOR = 1.975, p=0.010) and those who brushed their teeth once a week (95% CI; 1.226-31.161, aOR = 6.180, p=0.027) were found to be more at risk of developing DMFT.
Conclusion: Poor oral health hygiene among secondary school students was significantly associated with frequency of brushing teeth and failure to visit a dentist. There is need to increase oral health education in secondary schools in order to encourage students to visit dentists regularly as well as improving the frequency of brushing teeth as this will positively impact on oral health behaviors and status.
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