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Int Dent J. 2001 Jun;51(3):164-8.

An investigation into the value and relevance of oral health promotion leaflets for young adolescents.

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University Dental Hospital, Manchester, UK.



To determine if oral health promotion leaflets of a novel design and content would be read by, acceptable to and influence 11-12-year-old children.


Three related leaflets were incorporated into a dental health education programme aimed at 11-12-year-old children. The leaflets were designed specifically, following consultation with focus groups. They had a romantic story line and emphasised the immediate gains from good dental health, relevant to this age group. A random sample of pupils completed a written questionnaire on the impact of the leaflets at the end of the one-year programme. These sample pupils underwent a clinical examination to measure plaque before and after the programme.


2,678 pupils with a mean age of 12.1 years participated in the programme. 895 were randomly selected to join the assessment study. Most pupils 81%, (725) reported they had read the leaflets; 61% (442) finding them enjoyable to read, 51% (370) attractive to look at and 71% (515) finding the story lines interesting. However, girls appreciated the leaflets more than the boys. There was some suggestion that the leaflets played a positive role in the overall success of the programme in that most pupils 83% (602) reported they thought more about caring for their teeth after reading the leaflets and 58% reported their brushing frequency had increased.


The results indicate that for adolescents, leaflets which feature interpersonal relationships are well accepted and can stimulate better oral health behaviour.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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