Oral health status and oral hygiene behaviour of orphan children: A survey in support centers in Kerman City, Iran, in 2019

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Dental Public Health, School of Dentistry AND Kerman Social Determinants on Oral Health Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Dental Public Health, School of Dentistry AND Kerman Social Determinants on Oral Health Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

4 MSc Student, Kerman Social Determinants on Oral Health Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran


BACKGROUND AND AIM: Oral health is an integral part of general health. There are many epidemiological studies on oral health of school-aged children; however, orphan oral health has been neglected. This study aimed to evaluate oral health status and oral hygiene behaviour of orphans who are living in care home.
METHODS: All children aged between 6-18 years who were living in 20 orphan care homes participated in the study after acquiring legal permission and signing consent form. Data of dental caries, gingival health, and oral hygiene factors were recorded by a trained dentist using World Health Organization (WHO) oral health basic survey methods. Descriptive analysis was performed to reach the study aim and objectives.
RESULTS: Totally, 356 children participated, with 50.6% of male group. The study subjects were classified in two age groups of 6-12 and 13-18 years old. Mean decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT)/dmft  was 1.73 ± 1.84 and 4.13 ± 3.80 in 6-12-year-old group, respectively. Only 39.5% of 13-18-year-old group had healthy gingiva. Mean of plaque index (PLI) was 0.98 ± 0.86 for whole study population. There was a significant relationship between gender and PLI and also tooth brushing behaviour.
CONCLUSION: Oral health of orphan children is not adequate. Therefore, regular dental check-up and oral health education programs are necessary.


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