Association Between Oral Health Literacy, Behaviour And Socio-Economic Status Among School Teachers Of Chennai City: A Cross Sectional Survey

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Harish Raghav , Jagannatha.G.V , Nagaland.T , Cyril Benedict.H


Background: Health literacy is a non-pharmacological method of managing diseases. For an individual to prevent and manage diseases, basic health knowledge is a must. Non health professionals like school teachers could influence children’s oral health decisions. In addition to the Oral Health Literacy (OHL), teachers can spread knowledge on oral health more than dental health professionals in an effort to shift the focus towards preventive dentistry. If similar morals are promoted among students, perceptions of oral health will begin to change.

Method: This cross-sectional e-survey was conducted among school teachers using a pre-validated, closed – ended 30 item questionnaire (demographic details, oral health behaviour and practices). Oral Health Literacy-Adult Questionnaire (OHL-AQ) was used in this study to assess the Oral Health Literacy. The e-questionnaire was sent to the school teachers in Chennai city. Chi-Square test was used where ever applicable. Significance level was set at P<0.05.

Results: A total of 80 participants were evaluated with mean age of 41±8.8 years. The overall mean OHL was 9.2±3 (Mean±SD). The results states that OHL was significantly adequate for individuals who visited dentist within 6 months -1 year as compared to those who never visited dentists.

Conclusion: Considering the inadequate level of OHL, promotion of oral health among teachers should be done by including regular dental workshops by government and dental professionals in schools.

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