Dental health behaviour in relation to caries status among medical and dental undergraduate students of Udaipur district, India

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Objective:To compare the caries status and oral hygiene behaviour of dental and medical students and to assess the influence of oral hygiene behaviour on the caries status.Methods:A questionnaire survey was conducted to assess the knowledge, attitudes and behaviour along with clinical examination to asses the caries status. A total of 403 dental and medical students enrolled with Rajasthan University of Health Sciences of Udaipur district, India were recruited in the study.Results:56.4% of dental students brushed their teeth twice daily compared to 38.5% of medical students. There was no significant difference between the mean decayed components of males and females of dental stream, whereas among medical subjects, males had a higher decayed score than females (P = 0.012). The mean behaviour score obtained by dental students (19.38) was greater than that of medical students (18.34). Moreover, medical students presented a higher decayed, missing and filled teeth (DMFT) score (1.96) than dental students (1.16). Subjects who had a habit of brushing after every meal showed lower DMFT score (1.4) than those who brushed only once a day (1.64). Step-wise linear regression analysis revealed that course of education and final behaviour score were the best predictors for the DMFT status.Conclusion:This study revealed significant differences between the oral hygiene behaviour and caries status of dental and medical students; furthermore, caries status was significantly influenced by the oral hygiene behaviour.

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