In Cambodia, civil unrest has led to insufficient and inaccessible dental health services. Oral health education and awareness are lacking, thus childhood dental caries is highly prevalent. This study aimed to examine the effects of an oral health education programme for public primary school teachers on the pupils’ oral health.
Between 2011 and 2015, an oral health education workshop was presented annually to primary school educators employed at a public school in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Oral screenings of 2,637 pupils (grades 1–6; subdivided between the lower 1–3 and upper 4–6 grades) were undertaken and the prevalence of dental caries, mean number of DFT, and mean percentage of DFT rate were calculated.
Caries affecting the primary and permanent teeth was highly prevalent (exceeding 90% annually). Prevalence declined significantly
among the upper-grade pupils. The mean DFT and mean DFT rate decreased significantly in both groups between 2011 and 2015.
Despite the persistently high prevalence of dental caries, the oral health status of the schoolchildren improved every year. Participation in the workshops may have improved the teachers’ ability to provide oral healthcare instructions, leading to the reduced dental caries prevalence among pupils.
Vol.23 – n.4/2022
Harvard: Y. Asao, Y. Iwamoto, C. Chea, T. Chher, C. Mitsuhata, M. Naito, K. Kozai (2022) "The effect of improving oral health literacy among teachers on the oral health condition of primary schoolchildren in Cambodia", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 23(4), pp321-326. doi: 10.23804/ejpd.2022.23.04.12
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