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J Dent Educ. 2006 Feb;70(2):179-87.

Oral health attitudes, knowledge, and behavior among school children in North Jordan.

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Department of Restorative Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan.


The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge, attitude, and behavior of school children towards oral health and dental care as well as to evaluate the factors that determine these variables. School children (n=557) of an average age of 13.5 years attending public schools in North Jordan were recruited into this study. The subjects completed a questionnaire that aimed to evaluate young school children's behavior, knowledge, and perception of their oral health and dental treatment. The participants' oral hygiene habits (such as tooth brushing) were found to be irregular, and parents' role in the oral hygiene habits of their children was limited. The study population showed higher awareness of caries than periodontal conditions. Irregular visits to the dentist were found to be common, and toothache was the major driving factor for dental visits. Children had positive attitudes toward their dentists; nevertheless, they indicated that they feared dental treatment. The children in this study also recognized the importance of oral health to the well-being of the rest of the body. Parents were not proactive in making sure that their children received regular dental care. Parents' knowledge and attitudes about the importance of oral health care and their fears about dental treatment influenced their children's dental care. The results of this study indicate that children's and parents' attitudes toward oral health and dental care need to be improved. Comprehensive oral health educational programs for both children and their parents are required to achieve this goal.

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