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Medico Research Chronicles

“A comparative evaluation of oral hygiene practices and habits among medical & dental students in Ghaziabad

ISSN No. 2394-3971

Original Research Article


Dr. Vipin Kaul1, Dr. Neha Gupta2, Dr. Pramod Kumar Rathore3, Dr. Nisha Kaul4
1. Post graduate student, 2. Professor & HOD, 3. Reader
(Department of Periodontics & Oral implantology), Shree Bankey Bihari Dental College &
Research centre, Delhi-Hapur road, Masuri, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh
4. Professor & HOD of Anatomy, Santosh Medical College, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India

Submitted on: December 2018

Accepted on: December 2018

Introduction: Oral health is as an essential component of general health & is determined by
knowledge of oral health behaviors. Factors like tobacco smoking, alcohol, nutritional status,
and stress are associated with a wide range of oral diseases. Many oral conditions are intimately
related to systemic diseases & total health care requires the combined efforts of the medical and
dental professions. It is believed that dental professionals/ students get a better insight into good
oral hygiene practices.
Aim: The present study was carried out to assess & compare the oral hygiene practices and
habits among medical & dental students.
Materials and Methods: A structured questionnaire was prepared to inquire about oral hygiene
practices, adverse oral habits, existing dental problems, dental service utilization patterns and
attitude toward dental treatment& was distributed among 200 dental and 200 medical students of
the second year.
Observations: Medical students had much better knowledge of some of oral hygiene practices
as compared to dental students. Adverse oral habits & dental problems were comparatively more
in dental students. However, the habit of regular dental checkup was more in dental students.
Medico Research Chronicles, 2018

The idea of early oral prophylaxis was lacking in both groups.

Discussion: To improve an individual's overall health and well-being, oral health promotion
programs providing education regarding proper eating habits, effective maintenance of oral
hygiene, and avoiding tobacco use can go a long run in improving oral health among the

Keywords: oral hygiene practices, adverse oral habits, dental problems, dental checkup,
comparison, medical and dental students

Introduction related tissues which enable an individual to

Oral health is as an essential eat, speak and socialize without active
component of general health & can be disease, discomfort or embarrassment and
defined as "a standard of health of oral and which contributes to general well-being.

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“A comparative evaluation of oral hygiene practices and habits among medical & dental students in Ghaziabad
Good Oral health knowledge is always public awareness about oral health may
associated with better oral health. (1) assist in early diagnosis. (5)
Oral health is significantly related to Oral diseases are a major public
oral health behaviors and their knowledge. health concern due to the high prevalence
Knowledge of oral health contributes to and its impact on quality of life. Many
good oral health, but unless attitudes and studies have shown that lack of knowledge
habits are developed and put into practice, among rural people and negligent behavior
little will be gained. (2) among urban people are causes of dental
According to the World Health diseases. Hence there is a need for a study
Organization (WHO), "Oral health means to be conducted to evaluate oral hygiene
being free of diseases and disorders that awareness and dental health problems in
affect the mouth and oral cavity." Several medical students.
factors including social, behavioral, and Oral self-care practices have been
medical seem to play a role in oral disease proved to be an effective preventive
progression. Oral Health-Related Quality of measure at the individual level for
life has become a priority for specialists as maintaining good oral health as part of
late as the 1980s, who are focusing on general health. Studies have shown that
evaluating the consequences of oral diseases brushing, particularly with fluoride
on the life of the individual and the toothpaste, reduces dental caries.
establishment of proper measures in order to Regular dental checkups and non-
cancel the negative effect of oral disease on smoking are recommended for maintaining
the quality of life. Both from a personal and optimal oral health. To improve the oral
a medical point of view, the relation health of the populations, WHO has set the
between the quality of life and oral health is promotion of self-care of as one of the
defined as the evaluation of the way in goals. Recommended oral self-care (ROSC)
which functional, psychological (“the looks” includes tooth brushing more than once a
and the self-esteem), social factors day, lesser consumption of sugar-containing
(interaction and perception) and snacks once daily or rarely and regular use
traumatizing and uncomfortable experiences of fluoride-containing toothpaste. (7)
affect an individual’s well-being. (3) During the past 20 years, there has
A number of factors such as been a reduction in the prevalence of dental
hygiene, tobacco smoking, alcohol, caries and periodontal diseases among the
nutritional status, and stress are associated population of industrialized countries. In
with a wide range of oral diseases. This contrast, dental caries and periodontal
forms the basis for the common risk factor diseases are increasing in some developing
approach for prevention of oral diseases. countries especially, where preventive
Regarding the prevention of oral disease, programs have not been implemented
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oral hygiene is the most significant among properly. With proper knowledge and oral
these factors. (4) health behavior, health care professionals
The oral health concern of an can play an important role in the oral health
individual is dependent on the attitude of a education of individuals and groups and act
person. These attitudes naturally reflect their as role models for patients, friends, families
own experiences and cultural perceptions. and the community at large. Before health
Therefore, oral health-care needs to be professionals are trained as oral health
addressed by a multifactorial approach and educators, there is a need to determine the
should be integrated into comprehensive status of their own oral health knowledge
health-promoting strategies and practices. and behaviors. [8]
Oral health promotion is needed within Dental students, the future leaders in
health-care practices of physicians. Raising oral health care, have a significant role to
play in public oral health education and its

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“A comparative evaluation of oral hygiene practices and habits among medical & dental students in Ghaziabad
promotion; but their own oral-health 1. Frequency of brushing
behavior must improve if they are to serve 2. Duration of brushing
as positive models for their patients, 3. The technique of tooth brushing
families, and friends. Dental student's oral- 4. Dentifrices used
health attitude reflects their understanding 5 Type of bristles of the toothbrush,
of the importance of disease prevention and 6. Replacement of brush
their commitment to improving their 1. The frequency of Brushing (Refer
patients' oral health; this attitude should be Table 1)
developed and reinforced during Brushing habits once a day was high
undergraduate training. (9) in dental (67%) as compared to medical
Aim students (41%). Brushing twice was high in
The study was undertaken to assess medical group (49%) as compared to dental
& compare oral hygiene practices, adverse (27%) Brushing thrice was high in medical
oral habits, existing dental problems, dental group (10%) as compared to (6) in dental
service utilization patterns and attitude ones. Hence paradoxically a better sense of
toward dental treatment among dental and oral hygiene was observed in medical
medical students. students.
Materials and Methods 2. Duration of Brushing (Refer Table 1)
The present study was a cross- Duration of brushing for 30-60
sectional study carried out on students seconds almost same in both groups 1-2
undergoing BDS& MBBS training. Ethical mints duration was more in medical group
approval to conduct the study was obtained (50%) as compared to that in the dental
from the Ethical Committee of the group (27%); conversely, 2-5 minutes
Institution Universities. The students duration was more in the dental group
recruited for this study were dental students (25%) as compared to the medical group.
of Shree Bankey Bihari dental college (21%). Variable brushing duration was seen
Ghaziabad and MBBS students of Santosh more in dental (50%) than medical students
medical college Ghaziabad. Informed (16%).
consent was taken from all the participants It appeared that dental students were
before the study. A structured questionnaire aware of the advantages of proper brushing
was prepared to inquire about oral hygiene time.
practices, adverse oral habits, existing dental 3. The technique of Brushing (Refer
problems, dental service utilization patterns Table 1)
and attitude toward dental treatment& was Greater incidence of Bass technique
distributed among 200 dental and 200 was seen in dental students (27%) as
medical students of the second year. compared to the medical group (21%).
Variables used to assess various oral Similarly greater incidence of scrubbing
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hygiene practices were based on the work technique was found in the dental group
done by Singh MS et al (10). The data, thus, (36%) as a comp to medical group (30%).
collected was compiled and put to statistical Greater incidence of variable technique was
evaluation. noticed in med (49%) as a comp to dent
Statistical Analysis (37%).
The data were analyzed using SPSS Dental students appeared to be more
14 software. Pearson's Chi-square test was serious about brushing technique because of
used for comparison between the groups and the knowledge gained by dental subjects.
P< 0.0001 statistically highly significant. 4. Dentrifices Used (Refer Table 1)
Results: The use of fluoridated dentifrice had
A. Oral hygiene practices: This involves a similar incidence in both medical and
brushing habits dental groups (40-41%).
Following variables were evaluated

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“A comparative evaluation of oral hygiene practices and habits among medical & dental students in Ghaziabad
Only (02%) of dental students used textured bristles were used more by medical
non-fluorinated dentifrices as compared to students (54%) as a comp to the dental
(12%) of medical students. Herbal group (46%). The use of hard bristles was
dentifrices were used more in the dental the same in both (17%).
group (51%) as a comp to medical ones 6. Replacement of Brush (Refer Table 1)
(37%). Replacement of toothbrush only after
Variability in use of dentifrice was bristles fray away, was seen in a higher
seen more in the medical group (12%) as incidence in both groups but it was more in
compared to dental group (07%). Dental the dental group (70%) as a comp to medical
students were more in favor of herbal group (53%). Replacement of brush
products. >3months was seen more in the medical
5. Type of Bristles of Tooth Brush (Refer group (15%) as compared to dental group
Table 1) (07 %). Similarly, replacement of brush
(36%) of dental students preferred >6months was seen more in medical (33%)
soft bristles as compared to only (28%) of as compared to dental group (23%).
medical students -; whereas medium

Table 1: Comparision of various variables of oral hygeine practices betwee medical & dental
Particulars Medical% Dental % chi square P -value
ONCE 41.01 67.00 0.0004 0.98
TWICE 49.00 27.00 0.0003 0.98
THRICE 10.00 6.00 0.16 0.68


30-60 SEC 13.50 12.50 0.78 0.37
1-2 MINTS 49.50 25.00 0.25 0.61
2-5 MINTS 21.00 24.50 0.46 0.49
VARIABLE 16.00 50.00 0.0006 0.98


BASS 21.00 27.00 0.22 0.63
SCRUB 30.00 36.00 0.30 0.58
VARIABLE 49.00 37.00 0.07 0.79
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FLOURINATED 40.00 41.00 0.88 0.34
NONFLOURINATED 12.00 1.50 0.312 0.57
HERBAL 36.50 50.50 0.033 0.85
VARIABLE 11.50 7.00 0.14 0.70


SOFT 28.00 36.00 0.16 0.68
MEDIUM 54.50 46.00 0.23 0.63
HARD 17.50 18.00 0.91 0.34

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“A comparative evaluation of oral hygiene practices and habits among medical & dental students in Ghaziabad

>3MONTHS 14.50 6.50 0.013 0.90
>6MONTHS 33.00 23.50 0.073 0.78
AFTER BRISTLES FRAY 52.50 70.00 0.03 0.86

B. Interdental Aids Used (Refer to medical groups. About 20% of dental

Table 2) students used floss as interdental aid while
No interdental aid was used in the majority like 20 % of med students used water
of cases (41-37%) in both dental and irrigation

Table 2: Comparision of various types of inter dental aids used between medical & dental
PARTICULARS Medical% Dental % chi square P-value
1. FLOSS 17.50 20.00 0.56 0.45
2. TOOTH PICK 13.00 17.00 0.30 0.58
3. INTERDENTAL FLOSS 9.50 8.00 0.61 0.43
4. WATER IRRIGATION 20.00 10.00 0.01 0.92
5. NONE 36.50 40.50 0.52 0.47
6. COMBINATION 3.50 4.50 0.62 0.43

C. Adverse Oral Habits (Refer to Table 3) Smoking & tobacco chewing was seen
More than 50% of the medical group maximally in dental students (17% each), as
had no adverse oral habits as compared to compared to med students (9% & 10%
only 27% of dental with no adverse oral respectively). The intake of caffeine
habits. products was almost the same in both

Table 3: Comparision of various adverse oral habits between medical & dental students
Particulars Medical% Dental % chi square P-value
1. SMOKING 9.50 17.00 0.04 0.84
2. TOBACOO CHEWING 5.00 16.50 0.0004 0.98
3. CAFFINE 23.00 21.50 0.75 0.38
4. OTHERS 8.50 17.50 0.012 0.91 Medico Research Chronicles, 2018
5. NONE 54.00 27.50 0.306 0.58

D. Existing Dental Problems (Refer to The incidence of caries & bleeding gums
Table 4) was higher in dental as compared to medical
About 64% of medical & 40% of students. Halitosis was noticed almost the
dental students had no existing dental same in both (14%).

Table 4: Comparision of various existing dental problems between medical & dental students
Particulars Medical% Dental % chi square P-value
1. CARIES 8.00 10.00 0.58 0.44
2. HALITOSIS 14.50 13.50 0.88 0.34

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“A comparative evaluation of oral hygiene practices and habits among medical & dental students in Ghaziabad
3. BLEEDING 6.00 9.00 0.33 0.56
4. OTHERS 8.00 11.00 0.44 0.50
5. COMBINATION - 17.00 0.00 1
6. NONE 63.50 39.50 0.01 0.92

E.Regular Dental Check Up (Refer to were in problem both in medical and dental
Table 5) students (52 % &46% respectively).
Regular dental check-up by people Three monthly, six monthly or
was maximally seen only as the subjects yearly checkup was low in both groups,
though on a higher side in the dental group.

Table 5: Comparision of regular dental check up habits between medical & dental students
Particulars Medical% Dental % chi square P -value
1. THREE MONTHS 7.00 8.00 0.72 0.39
2. SIX MONTHS 11.50 12.50 0.77 0.38
3. _> THAN ONE YEAR 14.50 20.00 0.19 0.66
4. IN PROBLEM 52.00 46.00 0.39 0.53
5. NEVER 15.00 13.50 0.69 0.40

F. Oral Prophylaxis dental checkup after every 3 months or 6

Majority of students (64% medical months was very low in both subjects with
& 56% dental) preferred prophylactic dental the almost the same incidence in both.
checkup only after one year. A prophylactic (Refer to Table 6)

Table 6: Comparision of oral prophylaxis habits between medical & dental students

Particulars Medical% Dental % chi-square P value

1. THREE MONTHS 6.50 7.00 0.85 0.35
2. SIX MONTHS 10.00 11.00 0.76 0.38
3. >ONE YEAR 64.00 56.00 0.30 0.58
4. NEVER 19.50 26.00 0.17 0.68

Discussion behavioral change in the society. It is

The oral cavity is the mirror of our thought that the difference in the level of
Medico Research Chronicles, 2018
own body because oral manifestations educational qualification also has an
accompany many systemic diseases. Good influence on oral health practice. (12)
oral health is essential to improve an Keeping this in mind, the study was
individual's overall health and well-being, conducted to provide insight into the oral
and is essential to improve an individual's hygiene status, behavior and concepts
overall health and well-being (11) among dental professionals and compared
It has been seen that health practices with medical students. Various surveys were
of physicians determine what they tell their conducted on this topic and varied results by
patients. A similar trend can be anticipated different authors are as under:
among dental practitioners as well. The A review study on Oral hygiene
dental community, who supposedly are the measures and promotion by Choo A et al
role models as far as oral health is (2001) revealed that oral hygiene measures,
concerned, play a pivotal role in promoting appropriately used and in conjunction with

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regular professional care, are capable of urban residence on the level of
virtually preventing caries and most understanding was statistically significant in
periodontal disease and maintaining oral relation to tooth brushing practices (P =
health. Tooth brushing and flossing are most 0.0088), necessity of using toothpaste (P =
commonly used, although interdental 0.0204), reasons for using toothpaste (P =
brushes and wooden sticks can offer 0.0057), signs and symptoms of gingivitis
advantages in periodontally involved (P = 0.0261) and treatment of gingivitis (P =
dentitions. Chewing sugar-free gums as a 0.0106). However, there were no
salivary stimulant is a promising caries- statistically significant differences in the
preventive measure. Community oral distribution of study participants,
hygiene promotion must attempt to understanding of tooth brushing practices,
maximize opportunities for oral health for reasons for tooth brushing, causes,
all and reduce inequalities by removing prevention and complications of gingivitis.
financial and other barriers. (13) (15)

A study on Oral hygiene practices, Tseveenjav et al. (2004) conducted

smoking habit, and self-perceived oral a study on oral hygiene practice by a dentist
malodor among Saudi Arabian dental in Mongolia & reported that the incidence of
students by Almas et al (2003) revealed dentists brushing twice a day was (81%). (16)
the following findings. Seventy-eight Hadi et al. (2007) reported that 59%
percent of male and 62% of female students of Iranian dentists brushed twice daily. (17)
experienced bad breath after waking up. A survey by Gopinath V. (2010) on Oral
Brushing was prevalent among 81% male hygiene practices and habits among
and 99% of female students. Both miswak dental professionals in Chennai reported
(chewing sticks) and tooth brushing were that about 55.9% of the dentists brushed
used by 53% male and 83% female students. twice a day and this was lesser when
Fifty-seven percent of male students and compared to the above findings. About
44% of female students reported caries. 98.9% of south Indian dentists brushed at
Bleeding gingiva was experienced by 26% least once daily. Female dentists were found
of males and 14% of females. Dry mouth to brush twice daily more commonly than
was common among 14% of males and 17% their male counterparts; 59.4% of dentists
of females, while smoking was prevalent consumed sugar-containing snacks at least
among 13% of males and 2% of females. once between meals and 40.6% of the
Tea drinking was common among 44% of dentists consumed sugar-containing snacks
males and 37% of females, showing that twice or more between meals. Female
female students had better oral hygiene dentists consumed more sugar-containing
practices. (14) snacks as compared to male dentists. (12)
Masanja IM et al (2004) conducted Lorna Carneiro et al(2011)
Medico Research Chronicles, 2018

a survey on the Knowledge about studied Oral Health Knowledge and

gingivitis and oral hygiene practices Practices of Secondary School Students,
among secondary school adolescents in Tanga, Tanzania & found about (88.4%)
rural and urban Morogoro, Tanzania on students had adequate level of knowledge on
196 of which 58.7% were females, and 52% causes, prevention, and signs of dental
were from urban schools. The responses caries, (96.8%) on causes and prevention of
were graded into three criteria namely 'lack periodontal diseases, 695 (88.5%) on
of knowledge', 'partial knowledge' and 'total cigarette smoking as cause of oral cancer,
or full knowledge'. There was a partial and (98.1%) students on importance of
knowledge about gingivitis and full dental check-ups. The majority (91.3%) had
knowledge of the basic oral hygiene an adequate practice of sugary food
measures among secondary school consumption; while (72.4%) had an
teenagers. The difference between rural and acceptable frequency of tooth brushing,

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“A comparative evaluation of oral hygiene practices and habits among medical & dental students in Ghaziabad
(2.4%) brushed at an interval of twelve but further improvements can be
hours, and (39.9%) visited for a check-up. encouraged. (19)
Majority of students had an adequate level An epidemiological survey on “A
of knowledge on oral health but low level of comparative evaluation of oral hygiene
oral health practices. Both genders had a practices, oral health status, and behavior
similar level of knowledge with male between graduate and post-graduate
predominance in oral health practices. Age dentists of North India” by Singh MS &
had no influence on the level of oral health Tuli AK(2013) reported that the majority
knowledge and practices of students. (1) of dentists in both groups(graduates-group
Baseer MM et al (2012) in their A, post graduates-group-B) brushed their
study on Oral health knowledge, attitude, teeth for 1-2 min twice daily and the
and practices among health professionals difference between them was statistically
in King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, significant. 67% of the dentists in Group A
found that the Attitude toward used modified Bass technique as compared
professional dental care varied among the to 53% in Group B. Majority of the dentists
various health professionals. Less than 50% in both the groups (69% in Group B and
of health professionals showed a positive 58% in Group A) used fluoridated
attitude toward regular visits to the dentist; a toothpaste and toothbrushes with soft
toothache was the driving factor for their bristles (around 69% in Group B and 48% in
last visit and fear of drill was the reason for Group A). Majority of dentists in both the
not visiting the dentist. In the present study, groups did not report the use of any
99% of the study subjects used a toothbrush interdental cleaning aid. Significantly more
and paste as the preferred method of oral dental problems were reported by Group A
hygiene and less than 35% used dental floss. as compared to Group B.
More than 50% brushed their teeth in the Majority of the dentists in both the
morning for more than 2 min. Overall, groups did not report any adverse habit.
77.9% of health professionals brushed their However, smoking was reported by 11.2%
teeth once in the morning every day. Around and 4% of dentists in Group A and B
3.9% brushed their teeth two times daily; the respectively. Significantly number of Group
first time in the morning and second time at B dentists had regular dental checkups &
night before going to sleep. (18) oral prophylaxis than Group A. (10)
Laxman Kaira et al (2012) in a Giri D et al (2014) studied the Oral
study on Oral Health-Related Knowledge, health status of postgraduate dental
Attitude and Practice among Nursing students in Eastern Nepal. It was
Students of Rohilkhand Medical College observed that all the subjects used a
and Hospital found that toothbrush with soft bristles to brush their
A majority of the respondents were teeth. Majority of the subjects (64.5%)
Medico Research Chronicles, 2018

practicing healthy oral hygiene practices brushed their teeth twice daily. Majority of
that included brushing twice a day with the dentists (64.5%) used a modified Bass
toothbrush and toothpaste for an adequate method for removing plaque, which is
duration of 2 to 3 minutes. Almost 87% of probably the most popular method taught
them were aware of the diseased gingival today. 20 out of 31 subjects (64.5%) were
condition and the consequences due to the non-smokers. This high percentage of the
accumulation of plaque. Almost half of the dentist’s not consuming tobacco could be
participants visited a dentist only on pain. because of their knowledge regarding the
However, a majority of them had given consequences of tobacco consumption. It
importance to their teeth equally as their was also observed that a majority of the
general health. It was seen that the subjects who were examined belonged to
knowledge, attitude, and practice of nursing higher socio-economic strata with higher
students about oral health were adequate, levels of education, having good oral

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“A comparative evaluation of oral hygiene practices and habits among medical & dental students in Ghaziabad
hygiene and minimal gingival inflammation. more often was four times higher among the
Most of the subjects examined high level of clinical students than that among the
dental awareness and access to dental and preclinical students. This suggests that the
medical health care facilities. (3) level of student's self-care may have been
Simranpreet Kaur et al (2015) influenced by their course contents. The rate
studied Oral Health Knowledge, Attitude of the usage of dental floss among the
and Practices amongst Health preclinical students was 52.8% and among
Professionals in Ludhiana & found the clinical students was 71.1% (P<
that Males had a higher oral health 0.001) The findings of the present study
knowledge score than the females. The highlights that the students had rather low
doctors had the highest score knowledge oral-health awareness at the beginning of
followed by pharmacists, nurses, and their dental education, i.e., preclinical
technicians. Attitude towards dental students have low oral-health awareness
treatment varied. All participants believed when compared to clinical students. The
that regular visits to the dentist were oral-health attitude and behavior of dental
necessary. The driving factor for their last students improved with the increase in the
visit was dental caries. The most common level of education. (9)
reason mentioned by the health Kinner Desai (2018) on
professionals for not visiting the dentists Assessment of Oral Hygiene Awareness
was a busy schedule. More than 50% of among College Students in Surat City
health professionals brushed their observed that Out of the 231 students,
teeth more than 3 minutes. Flossing was 79.4% were males. The majority (63.6%) of
more common in females as compared to the students cleaned teeth, 105 students
males and mouthwash was more frequently always used fluoridated toothpaste, one third
than floss. (8) have a habit of snacking between meals, and
Prabhakar I et al(2015) in their 34.6% of the students changed their
study on determinants of preventive oral toothbrushes once in 2 months. 61 students
health behavior among senior dental had never visited a dentist in their lifetime.
students of Greater Noida, India observed Around 43.7% of the students were thought
that more than half of the respondents that poor brushing habit is the reason for
(56.25%) agreed that the frequency of sugar tooth decay. ( 20)
consumption has a greater role in producing Khalid et al (2018) in their study
caries. It was observed that 93.75% of on Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices
students found preventive dentistry practice Related to Oral Health of Dental, Medical
to be useful. Significant gender differences and Pharmacy Students at the University
were observed in the use of recommended of Science and Technology in Yemen,
oral self-care, knowledge of using sealant as found that the highest rate of knowledge
Medico Research Chronicles, 2018

a caries preventive measure and fluoridation scores of the students related to oral health
of drinking water as an effective way of was (87%) with better response in Dental
preventing caries. (7) students (95%) than Medical and Pharmacy
An Evaluation of oral-hygiene students (84% and 82% respectively).
awareness and practice among dental Nearly 72% of them (93% Dental, 65%
students of Nellore (AP) was done by Medical and 58% Pharmacy) believed that
Darivemula Daya et al (2017).The results regular visits to the dentist are necessary.
of the present study indicated that the Moreover, 56.33% of them (88% Dental,
percentage score for oral-health knowledge, 43% Medical and 38% Pharmacy) showed
attitude, and behavior of clinical students that private clinic was voted as the preferred
were significantly higher than that of the place of visit for dental treatment.
preclinical students. The percentage of Approximately 77% of them (86% Dental,
students brushing their teeth twice daily or 74% Medical and 71% Pharmacy) had

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visited a dentist at least once in their observations of some poor oral habits &
lifetime. About 61.67% of them (77% dental problems amongst the dental group as
Dental, 56% Medical and 52% Pharmacy) compared to a medical group of our study,
brushed their teeth twice daily. (21) can be explained by the fact that both
Summary medical & dental students come directly
Summing up the observations, our from schools from where the concepts of
study revealed that medical students had a oral hygiene are inculcated to all students on
better knowledge of only some of the oral a common pattern. Dental students are
hygiene practices like frequency of expected to be much better than others
brushing, type of bristles of toothbrush & because as they pass through various
replacement of tooth brush as compared to teaching phases of dentistry, they become
dental students. On the other hand, dental fully aware of various aspects of good
students showed a much better concept of dental hygiene. However, the exposure of
other oral hygiene practices like duration of young people to various bad habits like
brushing, the technique of brushing & type smoking, drinking, chewing of tobacco etc.
of dentifrices to be used. The habit of & finally their addiction & dependence on
regular dental checkup was also seen more them “as a sign of so called belonging to
in dental students high society”, deviates our young school
However the incidence of adverse leaving children from normal habits &
oral habits like smoking, tobacco chewing & social life.
dental problems like dental caries, bleeding Hence it is recommended to instill a
gums was comparatively more in dental more positive oral health education right
students as compared to medical students. from the school level. All young students
The concept of usage of interdental aids & should be encouraged to have a more
that of early oral prophylaxis was lacking in positive attitude toward visiting a dentist
the majority of students in both groups. regularly and warned against the ill-effects
Our observations were partially in of tobacco smoking & drinking. Dentists
accordance with various previous findings should realize their role in disseminating
which showed that almost all oral hygiene positive oral health concepts to their patients
practices were better observed by dental and the general public, but before this, they
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