Effect Of Eating Habits On Oral Health Of Primary School Children In Nigeria
The effect of eating habits on the oral health of primary school pupils in Nigeria was assessed using total effect scores, total eating habit scores and total oral health practices scores. The eating/snacking habits of the students, the oral hygiene practices and the occurrence of dental conditions were assessed.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted from November 2018 to May, 2020. Questionnaires were administered to participants to assess their eating habits and their oral hygiene practices. Total eating habits scores, Total effect scores and Total oral hygiene practice scores were calculated to assess the effect of the eating habits and the oral hygiene practices on the oral health of the participants.
193 participants representing 96.5% had scores ≤ 7.5, thus indicating a low effect of dental conditions on the quality of life and 4 participants representing 2.0% had scores ≥7.51, indicating a high effect of dental conditions on the quality of life. 83 participants representing 41.5% had scores ≤ 15.0, thus indicating good eating habits and 104 participants representing 52.0% had scores ≥16.0, indicating bad eating habits. The eating/snacking habits of the participants were generally poor. 28 participants representing 14.0% had scores ≤ 15.5, thus indicating good oral hygiene practices and 157 participants representing 78.5% had scores ≥15.51, indicating bad oral hygiene practices.
Generally, the snacking/eating habits of the participants are poor as well as their oral health/hygiene practices although most of them claim to brush their teeth twice daily. There is a need for an oral health promotion programme to be organized by the primary school education board in collaboration with the school authorities to increase awareness of good oral health practices and good eating/snacking habits