ORAL HEALTH: KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICES IN RURAL COMMUNITY
Background: Good oral health is a key for ensuring overall well-being. Dental caries and periodontitis may also be linked to different systemic diseases. Good oral health practices are the clue for preventing the diseases of the oral cavity. Objectives: To assess the oral health knowledge and oral health practice of the people in a rural community. Materials and Methods: Study was conducted in Dehradun district of Uttarakhand state. Sample population has been selected based on systematic random sampling. Study has included 798 participants above 3 years of age. Statistical Analysis Used: Percentage. Results: Study results have shown poorest oral health status amongst population below 19 years of age. Constant pain in teeth/ gums was also reported maximum in this age group. Habit of having sticky food was reported maximum in 3-10 years age group with poorest practice of brushing teeth (daily brushing was reported by only 67% population and twice a day was reported by only 2.4%.). Discussion: Study results have shown that perception of having good oral health is high in this population but oral health practices are not satisfactory. Conclusion: Study finding recommends that oral health awareness needs to be increased in the area especially focusing young children. Awareness programs should be supplemented with primary care services for better oral health and hygiene.