Effectiveness of school dental health education on the oral health status and knowledge of children: A systematic review

Indian J Dent Res. May-Jun 2019;30(3):437-449. doi: 10.4103/ijdr.IJDR_805_18.

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of school dental health education on the oral health status, oral health-related knowledge, and practice behavior of 6-12-year-old children.

Methods: Hand search and electronic search based on the keywords on school dental health education in seven search engines till 2017 identified 7434 articles. Trials involving school-based dental health education with a minimum follow-up period of 6 months were screened. Risk of bias assessment was done independently by two authors.

Results: Among the 18 articles which fulfilled the eligibility criteria, six were randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and 12 were non-RCTs. Quality assessment showed that 12 trials had a low risk of bias. Oral health-related knowledge improved in children. Oral health-related practice behaviors such as frequency and duration of brushing improved. Use of fluoridated toothpaste was increased. Plaque scores and gingival bleeding scores reduced.

Conclusion: School dental health education had a positive impact on the oral health status, knowledge, and practice behavior of children. There is a definite need for high-quality RCTs analyzing the effectiveness of school dental health education on specific oral health outcomes.

Keywords: Oral health education; oral health of schoolchildren; oral health-related knowledge; school dental health education.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Health Education, Dental*
  • Humans
  • Oral Health*
  • Periodontal Index
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Schools
  • Toothbrushing