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A study on oral health knowledge, behavior and practice among elderly people in some regions

  • Journal of Korean society of Dental Hygiene
  • Abbr : J Korean Soc Dent Hyg
  • 2010, 10(2), pp.413-423
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Dental Hygiene
  • Research Area : Medicine and Pharmacy > Dentistry

In Suk Park 1 김정숙 2 Choi mi hye 3

1청암대학
2청암대학 치위생과
3원광보건대학

Candidate

ABSTRACT

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine the general characteristics, oral health knowledge and oral health behavior of elderly people and the relationship of their oral health knowledge to practice of the knowledge in an attempt to provide information on the development of the senior oral health care system. Methods: The subjects in this study were 324 elderly people who used five different social welfare centers in the regions of Sooncheon and Yeosoo. Results:1. The oral health knowledge of the elderly people investigated was at a low level. Among different sorts of oral health knowledge, they had the best knowledge on the cause of dental caries, and they were most ignorant about the right time for regular dental checkup. 2. Regarding connections between general characteristics and oral health knowledge, the elderly people who never went to a dentist had a better knowledge on oral health, and those who cared about oral health had a better knowledge than the others who didn't. 3. As to practice of oral health knowledge, the best oral health behavior they did was to clean the tongue during toothbrushing, and oral health behavior was not to have an unbalanced diet. The second best one was to be well-nourished, and the third best one was to refrain from drinking, smoking and eating sugar-containing food. The fourth best one was to get a regular dental checkup and teeth cleaned. 4. There was a positive correlation between oral health knowledge and oral health behavior. A better oral health knowledge led to a better oral health behavior. Conclusions: The better oral health knowledge of the elderly people was followed by a better oral health behavior, and the development and implementation of customized oral health education programs geared toward the elderly are urgently required. Oral health professionals should direct their energy into providing sustainable and systematic oral health education, and institutional measures should be taken to make it happen.

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