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07 June 2014 : Original article  

Tooth brushing frequency in Mexican schoolchildren and associated socio-demographic, socioeconomic, and dental variables

Alejandro José Casanova-RosadoABDEF, Carlo Eduardo Medina-SolísACDEF, Juan Fernando Casanova-RosadoADE, Ana Alicia Vallejos-SánchezADE, Mirna Minaya-SánchezADE, Martha Mendoza-RodríguezADE, Sonia Márquez-RodríguezADE, Gerardo MaupoméADEF

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.890106

Med Sci Monit 2014; 20:938-944


BACKGROUND: Tooth brushing (with fluoridated toothpaste) is the most cost-effective intervention in dentistry and it is widely recommended to preserve good oral health. We aimed to determine the frequency of tooth brushing and the variables associated with this practice in schoolchildren living in southeast Mexico.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: A cross-sectional study was carried out in 1644 schoolchildren, 6 to 13 years old. Questionnaires with socio-demographic, socioeconomic, and dental variables were administered to mothers/guardians of children. The dependent variable was the frequency of tooth brushing, which was categorized as 0 = tooth brushing less than once a day and 1 = tooth brushing at least once a day. A logistic regression model was used to evaluate the final results.

RESULTS: Mean age was 9.06±2.02 years and 49.1% were girls. The prevalence of tooth brushing at least once a day was 49.8%. In the multivariate model, characteristics related to tooth brushing frequency (p<0.05) were: older age (OR=1.11), being female (OR=1.64), having a larger family (OR=0.87), having had a visit to a dentist during the year preceding the study (OR=1.37), and having had fluoride applications by a professional (OR=1.39).

CONCLUSIONS: The results suggested that different variables (demographic, socioeconomic and dental) are associated with the frequency of tooth brushing. Family size (proxy variable for socioeconomic status) may indicate certain oral health inequalities in this population.

Keywords: Demography, Child, Logistic Models, Mexico - epidemiology, Multivariate Analysis, Oral Health, Schools - statistics & numerical data, Socioeconomic Factors, Students - statistics & numerical data, Toothbrushing - statistics & numerical data

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750