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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 198-206

Comparative study of oral health education given by a dentist and schoolteachers in Thai Grade 3 students

1 Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
2 Nakhon Phanom Hospital, Nakhon Phanom, Thailand

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Wannakorn Sriarj
Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Chulalongkorn University, 34, Henri Dunant Rd., Wangmai, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330,
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jispcd.JISPCD_426_20

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Objectives: To compare children’s knowledge and attitudes toward oral health (OH) and plaque score after receiving OH education (OHE) from a dentist or trained schoolteachers. Materials and Methods: Third-grade students in Amphoe Meuang, Nakhon Phanom, Thailand (n = 652), were randomly divided into a dentist group (n = 217), a teacher group (n = 216), and a control group (n = 219). The students’ OH knowledge, attitudes, and plaque scores before the intervention were collected as baseline data. The dentist and the teacher groups received additional OH education sessions by a dentist and trained schoolteachers, respectively. Their immediate post-test knowledge was evaluated after each session, and plaque scores were determined after the brushing session. All groups continued a monthly tooth brushing activity for two months. The final assessment was done at the three-month follow-up. Results: The students who received additional OHE by either a dentist or teacher demonstrated improved knowledge and attitudes towards OH, including plaque score. Interestingly, at the three-month follow-up, the knowledge score in the teacher group was significantly higher than in the dentist group. However, the dentist group had a significantly lower plaque score compared with the teacher group. Conclusions: Additional OHE in school significantly improved students’ OH knowledge and positive attitudes regardless of the provider. However, the teacher tends to have a greater impact on their students; thus after appropriate training, schoolteachers can be efficient OH educators, especially in the long term.

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