Abstract: Aim Oral health is a reflection of general health and significantly influences the quality of life. Dental caries is one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood which may adversely affect physical, mental and social growth of children. Oral hygiene methods can effectively prevent oral and dental diseases, and oral hygiene education plays an important role in this regard. The aim of the present study was then to assess the effect of oral hygiene education on the oral and dental health of 6-year-olds.
Materials and methods A hundred and sixty 6-year-old children from 4 pre-school centers were divided into two groups, case and control, in this cluster randomised controlled trail. The children in the case group received oral and dental education in one session. The parents of the case group were also instructed in one session. The children and parents of the control group did not receive any instructions. Plaque index (PI): Turesky-Gilmore-Glickman; gingival index (GI): Loe & Silness; at a) baseline, b) 1.5 and c) 6 months after the first examination. Data were analysed by repeated measure ANOVA.
Results PI: A significant difference was found between the baseline examination and the first follow-up (p<0.001), and between the baseline examination and the second follow-up (p<0.001). GI: Although values in the case group were lower, no statistically significant difference was found between the two groups and within each group (p>0.05). Regarding the number of brushing times, a statistically significant difference was found between the first and the second follow-ups of the study groups (p>0.05). The brushing type and the application of other hygienic measures did not show any difference (p>0.05).
Conclusion Within the limitations of the present study, it may be concluded that oral hygiene instruction to 6-year-old children and their parents improves their dental health.