Program

Jun 10, 2016

OVERVIEW

The Comprehensive Oral Hygiene Training program, through a series of discussions and trainings, aims to improve the oral hygiene habits of middle school-age children. In an experimental evaluation based in a private school in Brazil, control group students were randomly assigned to receive no oral hygiene education, while students in one treatment group received a three-year comprehensive program, and students in a second treatment group received standard education in oral hygiene.  The evaluation showed reduced sugar intake and improved flossing habits in children in the first treatment group, and increased oral hygiene knowledge in both treatment groups.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Children in middle school

The Comprehensive Oral Hygiene Training program educates students on oral health through a series of meetings.  First, parents and teachers receive a one-hour presentation about tooth cleaning and the prevention of dental diseases.  Groups of five to seven students meet in 25-minute sessions to discuss the development of dental diseases, early self-diagnosis, and self-care.  The students in the three-year program receive 20-minute trainings about self-diagnosis, restriction of sugar intake, and recording gingival units, lesions, and plaque.  The first three sessions occur every two days.  A series of 10-minute follow-up sessions occur monthly for four months and, afterwards, every three months during the school year, over the course of the remaining 32 months.  During follow-up sessions, students are assessed on their difficulties in plaque control, knowledge of prevention, and capacity to perform self-diagnosis.  Information learned during previous sessions is repeated.  Student efforts to maintain oral hygiene are always praised, and negative criticism is minimized.  Each month throughout the three years, students are provided with disclosing solution, a toothbrush, dental tape, a tongue scraper, and fluoride toothpaste.  Each child receives approximately 3.5 hours of training throughout the program.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Buischi, Y. A. P., Axelsson, P. O., & Gjermo, P. (1994). Effect of two preventive programs on oral health knowledge and habits among Brazilian schoolchildren. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, 22, 41-46.

Evaluated Population: The study sample consisted of 186 13-year-old students from a private school in São Paulo, Brazil.  A private school was chosen for the increased likelihood that students would be of middle and upper socioeconomic status, and thus were expected to exhibit more stable attendance, less family mobility, and less variance on dependent variables.  Children entered the study with previously established tooth-brushing habits.

Approach: The students were randomly assigned to one of three groups.  One group was assigned to receive the oral hygiene training program detailed above.  Another group was assigned to receive five minutes of individual traditional instruction on oral hygiene techniques, following the same schedule as the first group.  This group did not receive any group sessions or stimulation of active participation.  The third group served as a no-treatment control group; however, students in this group received fluoridated toothpaste each month.  A reference group of 70 children from a similar school was evaluated at post-test, to control for contamination. Three weeks after the end of the three-year intervention, children completed a questionnaire concerning oral health knowledge and habits.

Results: At the end of the study, students assigned to receive the Comprehensive Oral Hygiene Training demonstrated significantly better knowledge about the symptoms and cause of caries than those in the other groups, and had significantly more favorable sugar consumption, use of disclosing solution, and flossing habits, compared with students in the other groups.  The differences between any two groups in these measures were not significant. Students assigned to receive the individual traditional instruction on oral hygiene demonstrated better knowledge of the cause of caries, and the cause and symptoms of gingivitis than students in the control and reference groups.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References:

Buischi, Y. A. P., Axelsson, P. O., & Gjermo, P. (1994). Effect of two preventive programs on oral health knowledge and habits among Brazilian schoolchildren. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, 22, 41-46.

KEYWORDS: Males and Females, Middle School, Nutrition, School-based, Adolescents, Skills Training, Other Physical Health.

Program information last updated on 6/10/16.