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Frequency of Tooth Brushing and Associated Factors in Mexican Schoolchildren Six to Nine Years of Age



Objective: To determine the prevalence of daily tooth brushing and evaluate some variables associated.

Subjects and Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in 320 schoolchildren six to nine years old in Campeche, Mexico. Information on sociodemographic and socio-economic variables, oral hygiene practices and attitudes were collected through a questionnaire. The frequency of tooth brushing was categorized as “0” = fewer than seven times/week, “1” = at least once a day. In the analysis, nonparametric tests were used.

Results: Mean age was 6.99 ± 1.00 years, 52.5% were boys. The prevalence of daily tooth brushing was 81.6%. In bivariate analysis, the prevalence of tooth brushing was higher (p < 0.05) among the children of mothers with higher schooling (9.80 years vs 8.47 years, p < 0.05), and in younger children (84.6% in 6−7-year olds vs 71.2% in 8−9-year olds, p < 0.05). A slight, non-significant association (p < 0.10) was noted between the current frequency of tooth brushing and an earlier age when the child first started brushing with toothpaste. There were no statistically significant differences (p > 0.05) in the frequency of tooth brushing by gender or by the mother’s attitude toward the oral health of her child.

Conclusions: The prevalence of daily tooth brushing was high compared to other studies. Mother’s maximum level of schooling (as an indicator of socio-economic position) was associated with higher frequency of tooth brushing. Maternal characteristics are associated with the oral health behaviour of their children.

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e-Published: 09 Apr, 2013
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