Abstract: Aim This study aimed to evaluate oral and dental health status of preschool children, to teach them two different brushing techniques, and to determine the effectiveness of such techniques.
Materials and methods One hundred sixty three healthy children from three preschools in Isparta (Turkey) that were willing to participate in the study were included. A questionnaire was distributed to the parents. All children were given an oral and dental health education. Examinations were done in the classrooms, and plaque index and dft-dfs values were recorded. In each preschool, the horizontal scrub technique was randomly taught to a group of children, and the Fones technique to other group, and children were asked to apply the technique taught. Plaque index scores were recorded again, measurements were repeated at 1 week, and 1, 3 and 6 months. Data were analysed statistically.
Results The questionnaires showed children’s and parents’ inadequate oral hygiene behaviours. Plaque index values for both techniques decreased from baseline at 1 week, and 1, 3 and 6 months. Values at month 6 were closer to baseline. The horizontal scrub technique was applied more easily and it provided an effective decrease on plaque index scores. No statistically significant difference was found for dft and dfs values.
Conclusion The educational programme with regular repeated tooth brushing training presented significant improvements in the oral health behaviours. The horizontal scrub technique was deemed more suitable than the Fones technique for preschool children.