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Indian J Dent Res. 2019 May-Jun;30(3):437-449. doi: 10.4103/ijdr.IJDR_805_18.

Effectiveness of school dental health education on the oral health status and knowledge of children: A systematic review.

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Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, KSR Institute of Dental Science and Research, Tiruchengode, Tamil Nadu, India.
Department of Conservative Dentistry, Sri Ramachandra Dental College and Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.



To evaluate the effectiveness of school dental health education on the oral health status, oral health-related knowledge, and practice behavior of 6-12-year-old children.


Hand search and electronic search based on the keywords on school dental health education in seven search engines till 2017 identified 7434 articles. Trials involving school-based dental health education with a minimum follow-up period of 6 months were screened. Risk of bias assessment was done independently by two authors.


Among the 18 articles which fulfilled the eligibility criteria, six were randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and 12 were non-RCTs. Quality assessment showed that 12 trials had a low risk of bias. Oral health-related knowledge improved in children. Oral health-related practice behaviors such as frequency and duration of brushing improved. Use of fluoridated toothpaste was increased. Plaque scores and gingival bleeding scores reduced.


School dental health education had a positive impact on the oral health status, knowledge, and practice behavior of children. There is a definite need for high-quality RCTs analyzing the effectiveness of school dental health education on specific oral health outcomes.


Oral health education; oral health of schoolchildren; oral health-related knowledge; school dental health education

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