Quintessence Int 33 (2002), No. 3 1. Mar. 2002
Quintessence Int 33 (2002), No. 3 (01.03.2002)
Relationship of socioeconomic background to oral hygiene, gingival status, and dental caries in children
Taani, Dafi Quteish
Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between socioeconomic status and oral hygiene, gingival condition, and dental caries among 12- to 15-year-old children. Method and materials: Poor children of low-to-moderate socioeconomic status (n = 674) attending 10 public schools were chosen randomly from each of the five geographic areas in Irbid, Jordan. Rich children of high socioeconomic status (n = 347) attending 10 private schools were also included. Schoolchildren were examined for oral hygiene, gingival condition, and dental caries. Results: Significantly higher proportions of children attending public schools had bleeding on brushing and calculus. Mean plaque and gingival scores were higher in public school children than in private school children, but the difference was not statistically significant. The public school children had higher overall scores for decayed, missing, or filled teeth and surfaces as well as higher scores for decayed teeth and surfaces, but there was no statistically significant difference between groups. However, children attending private schools had significantly more missing and filled teeth and surfaces. Conclusion: The findings for oral hygiene, gingival status, and dental caries were worse, but not significantly worse, among poor children than they were among rich children. Therefore, dental health education is recommended for both socioeconomic groups.