Oral hygiene habits and dental health awareness of Kenyan children aged 9-15 years in a peri-urban and urban school
Kaimenyi Jacob T.
Maina Susan W.
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The oral hygiene habits and dental health awareness of 541 Kenyan children from a peri¬urban and urban school and aged 9-15 years, were investigated. 80.2 % of the urban children and 43.1 % of the peri-urban children had visited a dentist before. 12.4% of the urban children and 9.2% of the peri. urban children knew that bacteria cause dental caries. Over 87 % of the children from either school knew that dental caries and periodontitis can be prevented. The main reason for visiting a dentist was to have tooth extraction. Failure to brush teeth was believed to be the cause of gingival bleeding by 38.9% of the peri-urban children and 37.6% of the urban children. 67.2% of the peri-urban children and 39.5% of the urban children brushed their teeth thrice daily. 21.1 % of the peri-urban children and 2% of'the urban children used a chewing stick to brush their teeth. More urban children (96.5 %) used a toothbrush than pe ri- urban ch ildren (64.8 % ) • None of the children from either school admitted using traditional cleaning aids such as the finger and charcoal. It is concluded that there were no consistent differences in oral hygiene habits and dental health awareness between peri-urban and urban children.