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2020 Month : March Volume : 9 Issue : 10 Page : 716-720

Conceptual Measures of Oral Health Literacy and Oral Health Behaviour among Street Hawkers and Fruit Vendors in Wardha, Maharashtra.

Gargi C. Nimbulkar1, Ankita Chandarana2, Lalrin Sangi3, Sakshi Patel4, Shravani Deolia5, Amit Reche6

Corresponding Author:
Dr. Gargi Nimbulkar,
Department of Public Health Dentistry,
Sharad Pawar Dental College, DMIMS,
Sawangi (Meghe), Wardha,
Maharashtra, India.
E-mail: garginimbulkar@gmail.com

BACKGROUND

Oral health is the most important but often neglected entity of life. Studies have revealed that literacy skills and knowledge are strong predictors of individual’s health status than age, income, employment status, education level, racial group or ethnic group. The objective of this study was to investigate how oral health literacy relates to oral health knowledge, attitude and practices among the street hawkers and fruit vendors.

METHODS

A cross-sectional study was conducted using a Marathi pretested, close ended, structured and validated questionnaire to assess oral health knowledge, attitude, practices and literacy among the street hawkers and fruit vendors. The data was collected, entered and analysed using SPSS Version 21.

RESULTS

The study shows that only 24.4% of the participants knew that teeth were important for chewing, talking and appearance, 86.7% of the participants knew that consumption of sweets causes tooth decay, 80.4% knew that brushing teeth prevents dental caries and 91.6% knew that visiting a dentist prevents dental problems. Regarding oral hygiene practices, 16.4% used tooth paste with toothbrush, 44.4% brushed twice daily, 47.6% used tobacco more than once daily and 34.7% visited dentist when they experienced tooth ache. In case of oral health literacy, 35.6% answered correctly that bleeding gum is an inflamed gum, 32% knew that plaque is soft debris on teeth, 21.3% participants knew that fluoride strengthens the teeth and 95.1% were aware that eating/smoking tobacco causes oral cancer.

CONCLUSIONS

Our study shows that oral health literacy was limited. The awareness on oral health knowledge was good with positive attitude but practices were fair among the street hawkers and fruit vendors. Therefore, measures should be taken to improve OHL level and develop skills of self-management about oral hygiene behaviour which will promote the oral health practices.

KEY WORDS

Oral Health, Knowledge, Attitude, Practice, Street Hawkers, Fruit Vendors

 

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