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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 93-97

Knowledge and practices of oral hygiene among undergraduate students of dayalbagh educational institute, Agra

Faculty of Arts, Department of Home-Science, Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Dayalbagh, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Submission29-Jul-2020
Date of Decision25-Sep-2020
Date of Acceptance16-Oct-2020
Date of Web Publication22-Mar-2021

Correspondence Address:
Suman Madan
Department of Home-Science, Faculty of Arts, Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Dayalbagh, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJDS.IJDS_119_20

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Background: Healthy and well-functioning teeth in all phases of life is a necessity. Teeth help in proper mastication of food as well as in word pronunciation. It gives fullness to the face, thereby helping in the social appearance of a person. Oral health and systemic health are interconnected. Past studies indicate that oral diseases cause or increase the severity of noncommunicable diseases. The general public is unaware of this connection. Thus, the present research work was planned to assess the oral hygiene practices of students and their awareness for maintenance of oral health. Research Methodology: The present survey was conducted among 510 students (135 boys and 335 girls) in the age group of 17–30 years studying in Dayalbagh Educational Institute. Data were collected through a questionnaire adapted from the standard tool of oral health questionnaire by the WHO. Results and Discussion: The result of the present study showed that 93% of the students were using toothpaste and toothbrush for cleaning teeth, but only 31% and 2% of the students were using other measures such as mouthwash and floss. Data also showed that only 44% of the students brush twice a day and only 27% visit dentist for routine checkup. Conclusion: Majority of the students were aware of the linkage between oral health and systemic health. Thus, it is essential to organize oral health education program at mass level to create awareness in public so that not only their oral health but also their general health can be improved.

Keywords: General health, oral care, oral health, oral hygiene awareness, oral problems

How to cite this article:
Madan S, Verma R, Mathur G. Knowledge and practices of oral hygiene among undergraduate students of dayalbagh educational institute, Agra. Indian J Dent Sci 2021;13:93-7

How to cite this URL:
Madan S, Verma R, Mathur G. Knowledge and practices of oral hygiene among undergraduate students of dayalbagh educational institute, Agra. Indian J Dent Sci [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Apr 20];13:93-7. Available from: http://www.ijds.in/text.asp?2021/13/2/93/311676

  Introduction Top

Oral health is an inseparable part of general health. Individual well-being depends on good general health as well as good oral health. Dental caries and gingival diseases are the most common oral health issues in human beings.[1] In developing countries, these issues are more prevalent due to low socioeconomic status, illiteracy, neglected attitude toward oral health, consumption of high-sugar diet, and consumption of tobacco and tobacco products.[2],[3] Most of the oral health service providers as well as individuals decide and require treatment on the basis of symptoms, that is, presence of oral cavities, thereby neglecting preventive treatment such as application of pit-and-fissure sealant to prevent dental caries or routine scaling and root planing for prevention of periodontal diseases. It is, therefore, necessary to organize an awareness program to generate awareness about the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene.[4] Oral diseases and systemic diseases are interlinked. Oral issues are responsible for development or increment in noncommunicable diseases, thus overall health depends on mutual efforts from dental care providers and medical care personnel.[5] Hence, the present study was planned to assess the oral hygiene practices and awareness of dental diseases by the students of Dayalbagh Educational Institute so that awareness programs can be organized, if needed, to prevent and cure oral diseases at early stages.

  Research Methodology Top

Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Deemed University, was randomly selected among all the universities of Agra for the study. Dayalbagh Educational Institute consists of five faculties. The list of undergraduate students studying in each faculty was obtained from the faculty office. From each faculty, every alternate undergraduate student was selected using simple random sampling. Hence, a sample size of 510 undergraduate students comprising 175 boys and 335 girls between the ages of 17 and 31 was selected. To assess the habits and knowledge of oral hygiene, a section from the oral health questionnaire by the WHO (2013)[6] was adapted and modified. To conduct survey, permission from the Ethical Committee of Dayalbagh Educational Institute was obtained as well as consent was taken from the participating students. Data were collected in the classrooms during free period.

  Results and Discussion Top

For the present study, all participants filled the questionnaire. The results were analyzed and are presented in graphs and tables.

As shown in [Figure 1], the selected students were divided into three groups according to age. Overall, 55% of the students belong to 17–20 years' age group, 37% of the students belong to 21–25 years' age group, and 8% of the students belong to 25–30 years' age group. According to gender, 66% of the students were female and 34% of the students were male.
Figure 1: Distribution of students according to age and gender

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As shown in [Figure 2]a, 53% of the students mentioned that they were brushing teeth once a day, whereas 44% of the students stated that they brush twice a day. Nearly 3% of the students forget to brush on a regular basis. These findings are lower (58%) than the findings obtained by Devdas et al.[7] and greater (35%) than the findings obtained by Paul et al.[8]
Figure 2: Frequency of brushing teeth (a) and use of toothbrush and toothpaste by the university students (b)

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As shown in [Figure 2]b, 94% of the students use tooth brush and toothpaste as measure for cleaning teeth. Almost 4% of the students use a herbal stick for cleaning teeth and 2% of the students were using the finger as a cleaning measure. Similar findings were obtained by Kapoor et al.[9] Nowadays, toothbrush is the common mode of cleaning teeth. Most of the people are aware about the use of toothbrush as a cleaning aid for teeth by television commercials and printed media.

As shown in [Figure 3]a, 33% of the respondents visited dentist within 12 months, whereas 23% students visited dentist in >12 months. Nearly 44% of the students never visited dentist. Similar findings (41%) were obtained by Paul et al.[8]
Figure 3: University students' last visit to dentist (a), reason for visiting dentist (b)

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As shown in [Figure 3]b, only 27% of the students visited dentist for routine checkup, whereas 50% of the students visited dentist for pain. Nearly 23% of the students visited dentist for ongoing treatment. Similar findings were obtained by Jain et al.[10] The researchers also concluded that 50% of the population visit dentist only in pain and also stated that people have ignorant attitude toward oral health and not aware of its connection with general health. Another reason for not visiting dentist for routine checkup includes fear of pain or attitudes shown by parents toward oral health.[11]

As shown in [Figure 4]a, only 31% of the students regularly use mouthwash, whereas 29% of the students occasionally use mouthwash and 40% students never use mouthwash.
Figure 4: Use of mouthwash (a) and floss (b) by the university students

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As shown in [Figure 4]b, merely 2% of the students use floss, whereas 90% of the students never use floss. Similar results were obtained by Jain et al.[10] There is a major lack of awareness as well as knowledge regarding the use of mouthwash and floss. Probable reasons include that their use is not publicized by dental association or government in the form of television commercials and print media and even dental professionals only prescribe but do not educate their patients about the benefits of regularly using cleaning measures other than toothbrush and toothpaste.

As shown in [Figure 5], merely 20% of the respondents know that bacteria are the cause of bleeding gums and halitosis, which are the signs and symptoms of gingival inflammation, whereas 60% of the students did not know the cause of bleeding gums. Similar results were obtained by Khan et al.[12] One of the reasons behind the lack of knowledge is that young generation are not properly educated by their parents and teachers who may or may not have knowledge. A suggested solution to this problem is by providing education to patients by dental health-care professionals as well as organization of camps to create awareness and enhance knowledge.
Figure 5: Students' knowledge about the cause of bleeding gums/halitosis

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As shown in [Figure 6], most of the students (97%) were unaware about any association between oral diseases and systemic diseases. Similar results were obtained by Priyanka et al.[13] Researchers state that there is a lack of awareness in the general population about any association between oral health and general health.
Figure 6: University students' knowledge about the association between periodontitis and systemic diseases

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As shown in [Table 1], there was a significant difference between the age groups of 17–20 and 21–24 years and 17–20 and 25–30 years on oral hygiene practices. The results indicate that with increase in age, oral hygiene practices and knowledge about oral hygiene also increase. It may be due to more exposure to published and electronic media and instructions from previous visit to dentists.[14]
Table 1: Oral hygiene practices on the basis of age

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As shown in [Table 2], on the basis of gender, there was no significant difference found among male and female students on oral hygiene practices, but there was a difference in the mean scores of male and female students. Female students were more aware of oral hygiene than male students. It may be due to the fact that females are more concerned about their social appearance or maybe they would have received knowledge about oral health through media or any other medium.[15]
Table 2: Oral hygiene practices on the basis of gender

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  Conclusion Top

In the present study, the researcher conducted a survey to assess the oral hygiene practices and knowledge of undergraduate students of Dayalbagh Educational Institute so that awareness programs can be organized to prevent oral diseases as well as to educate them about the relation of oral and general health. Majority of the students were totally unaware regarding the connection between oral health and general health; moreover, they were not following proper oral hygiene measures. Therefore, due to this ignorant behavior or unawareness, diseases of the oral cavity were left untreated, which may lead to periodontitis and other systemic diseases in their later life.

Good general health along with oral health is essential for students to fully concentrate on their studies, career, social relations, and day-to-day activities. Students are the pillars of the society. They should be aware of the impact of oral health on general health so that they can follow proper oral hygiene practices along with dietary guidelines.


I would like to thank all the students who took part in the present research work as well as head of the department of concerned faculties for giving permission for carrying out the survey.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Mehta A, Pradhan S, Pradhan S, Pradhan S. The oral hygiene habits and general oral awareness in public schools in Mumbai. Int J of Laser Dent 2013;3:60-7.  Back to cited text no. 1
Kamath A, Nadeem M, Bijle A, Walimbe H, Patil V. Oral hygiene awareness among school children of rural Mangalore. J Dental Res and Rev 2014;1:7-9. https://doi.org/10.4103/2348-3172.126156.  Back to cited text no. 2
Kamble VS, Biradar SM, Takpere A, Reddy S. Evaluation of oral hygiene awareness and practices among medical students. Int J Community Med Public Health 2016;3:83-5.  Back to cited text no. 3
Al-Samadani KH, Ahmad MS, Bakeer HA, Elanbya MOG. Oral health knowledge and practice among 9-12-year-old schoolchildren in the region of Madinah, Saudi Arabia, and its impact on the prevalence of dental caries. Europ J General Dent 2017;6(1): 54–58. https://doi.org/10.4103/2278-9626.198615.  Back to cited text no. 4
Faragalla AI, Almalki EJ, Asiri HA. Knowledge, attitude and practice of nurses to oral health care for hospitalized patients in Abha city-Saudi Arabia. Acta Sci Dent Sci 2018;2:16-23.  Back to cited text no. 5
World Health Organization. Oral Health Questionnaire for Adults. World Health Organization; 2019. Available from: https://www.who.int/oral_health/publications/pepannex7sohqbasicmethods.pdf. [Last retrieved on 2019 Jul 18].  Back to cited text no. 6
Devdas K, Amarlal D, Priya M, Venkatachalapathy A. Oral health attitudes, knowledge and practice among school children in Chennai, India. J Edu Ethics Dent 2013;3:26-33.  Back to cited text no. 7
Paul B, Basu M, Dutta S, Chattopadhyay S, Sinha D, Misra R. Awareness and practices of oral hygiene and its relation to sociodemographic factors among patients attending the general outpatient department in a tertiary care hospital of Kolkata, India. J Family Med Prim Care 2014;3:107-11.  Back to cited text no. 8
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Kapoor D, Gill S, Singh A, Kaur I, Kapoor P. Oral hygiene awareness and practice amongst patients visiting the Department of Periodontology at a Dental College and Hospital in North India. Indian J Dent 2014;5:64-8.  Back to cited text no. 9
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Blaggana A, Grover V, Anjali , Kapoor A, Blaggana V, Tanwar R, et al. Oral health knowledge, attitudes and practice behaviour among secondary school children in Chandigarh. J Clin Diagn Res 2016;10:ZC01-6.  Back to cited text no. 11
Khan SS, Wazir G, Khan I, Khattak AI. Knowledge and attitudes regarding bleeding gums among school children of Peshawar. Pakistan Oral Dent J 2015;35:266-7.  Back to cited text no. 12
Priyanka V, M, Ramamurthy J. Perioodntal diseases-systemic disease inter relationship questionnire study. Int J of Pharma Bio Sci 2015;6:16-21.  Back to cited text no. 13
Zhu L, Petersen PE, Wang HY, Bian JY, Zhang BX. Oral health knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of adults in China. Int Dent J 2005;55:231-41.  Back to cited text no. 14
Umanah A, Braimoh O. Oral hygiene practices and factors influencing the choice of oral hygiene materials among undergraduate students at the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. J Dent Allied Sci 2017;6:3. Available from: https://doi.org/10.4103/2277-4696.205440.  Back to cited text no. 15


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6]

  [Table 1], [Table 2]


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