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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 71-75

A peer group approach model of oral health promotion among orphans at Puduchery, South India

1 Department of Community Dentistry, College of Dental Sciences, Davangere, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Community Dentistry, Kalinga Institute of Dental Sciences, Bhubaneshwar, India
3 Department of Community Dentistry, Navodaya Dental College and Hospital, Raichur, India

Correspondence Address:
V H Sushanth
Department of Community Dentistry, College of Dental Sciences, Davangere, Karnataka - 577 004
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2231-0762.97710

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Background: Interactions between oral and systemic health are bi-directional and complex, involving many pathways. The orphans have been sympathized with, ignored, vitrified or even hidden away in the community. Hence, providing health care services for orphans remains a challenge. Oral health education has a positive impact in lowering plaque and gingivitis scores in health educational programs. Objective: The objective of this study is to assess the effectiveness of peer group health promotion model among 11 to 16 year old orphans at Puduchery, South India. Materials and Methods: A clinical trial of 6 months duration was carried out among 72 orphans with age ranging from 11 to 16 years residing in Cluny Padmini Sneha Illam, at Puduchery, India. The baseline data regarding oral health and oral hygiene practices were obtained using a pre-tested close-ended questionnaire. Oral health education was provided to 4 randomly picked children who in turn provided the same to their peer group orphans, supervised by the investigator. Tooth brushes and fluoridated tooth pastes were provided to all the participants throughout the study period. Oral hygiene of the participants was assessed using Modified Plaque Index by Loe H and Gingival Index by Loe H and Silness at baseline, 3 rd and 6 th month interval. Paired Student t test was used to analyze the categorical data. Results: Majority of the respondents felt consuming sugar was not harmful for dental health, while 15 respondents were not sure about the outcome. When asked if oral hygiene was important for general health, 45.8% were not aware of its association. Although all the participants brushed their teeth daily, none of them reported the use of dental floss. The findings of this study indicated a statisticallysignificant lower mean plaque score of 0.54 ± 0.20 at 6 th month when compared to the baseline score of 1.76 ± 0.24. Similarly, statistically significant lower gingival index score of 0.65 ± 0.11 at 6 th month was observed when compared to the baseline score of 1.76 ± 0.24. Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that oral hygiene of orphans was improved using a peer group approach model of oral health promotion.

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