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Community Dent Health. 1997 Dec;14(4):238-44.

Oral health status and oral health behaviour of 12-year-old urban schoolchildren in the People's Republic of China.

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Department of Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Stomatology, Hubei Medical University, Wuhan, PR China.



To describe oral health status of urban Chinese children aged 12 years, to evaluate the pattern of oral health behaviour, and to assess the relative effect of socio-behavioural risk factors on dental caries experience.


A cross-sectional survey of 12-year-old children was conducted in the Hubei Province of China, including urban and periurban groups. The sampling was in accordance with the WHO procedures as applied in the second national survey of oral health. Data were collected by clinical examinations and use of self-administered questionnaires.


The survey was initiated by the National Committee of Oral Health, China, in order to aid the planning and evaluation of school-based oral health care.


A sample of 698 children aged 12 years (96 per cent of original sample) participated in the survey; the sample was balanced by gender and urbanisation (urban/periurban).


The children were clinically examined according to the WHO basic methods and responded to standardised questionnaires on oral health behaviour, knowledge, and attitudes.


The mean DMFT of the children was 0.77 and DT constituted most of the caries index. About 65 per cent of the children had CPITN maximum score 2 (gingival bleeding and calculus). Only 40 per cent brushed their teeth at least twice a day and 46 per cent had seen a dentist within the past year. Variations by urbanisation were observed and the multiple linear regression of dental caries experience revealed that consumption of surgary foods, location and dental visits were the most important independent variables.


This study has shown that systematic oral health promotion programmes for children in China are urgently needed.

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