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.
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 and Silness; at a) baseline, b) 1.5 and c) 6 months after the first examination. Data were
analysed by repeated measure ANOVA.
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).
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.
Vol.12 – n.3/2011
Harvard: N. Esfahanizadeh (2011) "Dental health education programme for 6-year-olds: a cluster randomised controlled trial", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 12(3), pp167-170. doi:
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