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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 107-111

Awareness and practices of oral hygiene and its relation to sociodemographic factors among patients attending the general outpatient department in a tertiary care hospital of Kolkata, India

Department of Community Medicine, Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research and Seth Sukhlal Karnani Memorial Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Bobby Paul
P-19 Jadavpur University Employees' Housing Co-operative Society Ltd., P.O. Panchasayar, Kolkata - 700 094, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.137611

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Background: Periodontal diseases, dental caries, malocclusion, and oral cancer are the most prevalent dental diseases affecting people in the Indian community. Objective: The study was conducted to assess the awareness and practices on oral hygiene and its association with the sociodemographic factors among patients attending the general Outpatient Department (OPD). Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 224 patients attending the general OPD of the SSKM Hospital, Kolkata, India, from 1 April to 30 April, 2013. The study tool was a pre-designed and pre-tested semi-structured schedule. Results: About 69.20% of the participants used a toothbrush with toothpaste as a method of cleaning their teeth; 35.71% brushed twice in a day; 33.03% brushed both in the morning and at bedtime; and 8.93% used mouthwash. About 40.62% visited the dentist during the last six months; among them 61.18% attended because of pain. Almost three-fourth of the participants knew that tooth decay and bad breath were the effects of not cleaning the teeth. It was known to 71.42, 63.39, 70.53, and 73.21% of the respondents, respectively, that excess sweet, cold drink, alcohol, and smoking/pan chewing were bad for dental health. Television was the source of knowledge to 57.14% of the participants and 35.71% acquired their knowledge from a dentist. Females, literates, urban residents, users of mouthwash, and regular visitors to the dentist had good oral hygiene practices. Conclusion: Oral health awareness and practices among the study population are poor and need to improve.

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