Knowledge, Attitude and Awareness to Dental Caries Among Indian Children and Adolescents: A Case-Control Study


Pesqui. Bras. Odontopediatria Clín. Integr.




Abstract Objective: To assess paternal education, parental occupation, family income, level of knowledge and to determine the attitude and awareness of cases and controls in relation to dental caries and its risk factors in 6-18 years old respondents. Material and Methods: A case-control study was carried out in the outpatient Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry. A total of 800 subjects, 400 each in case and control group were enrolled. The cases were subjects in designated age group with dental caries while controls were subjects without dental caries but matched with the cases on three confounding factors - age, sex, and religion. Multivariate logistic regression was used, with a significance level set at 5%. Results: Paternal education [illiterate (p=0.002), high school (p=0.005), intermediate (p=0.001), graduate (p=0.002)], family income per month [2000 INR (30 USD) (p=0.016); 5000-10,000 INR (75USD -145 USD) (p=0.035)], attitude of short visit duration to dentist (p<0.001), knowledge about sweets causing dental caries (p<0.001), awareness about symptoms of dental caries (p<0.001) and need of lifestyle change (p<0.001) were significantly associated with dental caries. Conclusion: The present research showed that in cases, knowledge was higher as compared to controls whereas contrasting results were observed with attitude and awareness. These results necessitate an urgent need of national programme integrated with primary health care under school health and community outreach programmes, so as to encourage the population to adopt and as well as sustain dental health promoting lifestyles and practices and help in reducing the disease burden.

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