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Comparative Prevalence of Dental Myths, Oral Hygiene Practices and Tobacco Habits in an Ageing North Indian Rural and Urban Population (pp.189-200) $100.00
Authors:  (Saumyendra V. Singh, Rekha Singh, Sumit Kumar, Arvind Tripathi, Bhaskar Agarwal, Department of Prosthodontics, Faculty of Dental Sciences, C.S.M. Medical University (former K.G.Medical University), Lucknow, UP, India, and others)
Abstract:
Background and objectives: Though increased emphasis is being given
to expanding dental care facilities and awareness in Indian villages, the target
population is unfortunately less literate and financially equipped compared to
their urban counterparts. This study attempted to comparatively evaluate
dental myths, oral hygiene methods and beliefs, and tobacco habits present in
an urban and rural ageing population. The results would be useful in studying
the role of amenities and literacy on the mindset of people vis a vis scientific
dental practices. Material and methods: The rural study area consisted of 10
villages, situated in the district of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh (UP), India. The
sample comprised 681 people aged 50 years or above, while the urban study
consisted of 600 subjects aged 50 years or above, visiting an urban dental
college & hospital for routine treatment. The urban study area was located in
Lucknow city proper, UP, India. The subjects were questioned about dental
myths, tobacco habits and oral hygiene methods and then divided into groups
on the basis of age, gender, educational status and residence. Mean values,
standard deviation, chi-square test, t-test, p values etc were used to obtain
inter-group comparisons using SPSS software. Results: Forty percent of the
rural subjects considered oral hygiene unnecessary compared to nil urban
subjects. While 61% rural subjects relied on simple mouth rinsing for
maintaining oral hygiene, 96.5% of urban subjects used a toothbrush. Forty
eight percent rural subjects either smoked or chewed tobacco or both
compared to only 15.5% urban subjects. The surprising data came in the
prevalence of dental myths in the study samples- 81% for the rural subjects
and a high 78.5% for the urban subjects. Conclusion: The results showed that
the rural ageing population is deprived and a targeted programme to spread
scientific dental practices to them is necessary. Also, though the urban
population is aware of scientific dental practices, dental myths are deeply
ingrained in Indian traditional beliefs and culture, which may only be
uprooted by concerted community educational activities. 


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Comparative Prevalence of Dental Myths, Oral Hygiene Practices and Tobacco Habits in an Ageing North Indian Rural and Urban Population (pp.189-200)