The present study aimed to measure the prevalence of the most important health behaviors relating to oral diseases' namely tooth brushing, eating habits and visits to the dentist, of primary school children. Methods and material: Interviews of 2.365 students of 24 primary schools in Athens were conducted in 5 years time. A structured questionnaire of 32 closed and open-ended questions was used, but for the purpose of the present study only 3 dimensions are presented, a) Tooth brushing frequency, b) Eating habits, c) Visits to the dentist. Descriptive statistics and frequencies using the SPSS 16v were used. Results: Our sample consisted of 2.365 students, out of which 49% were boys, aged 6 to 12 years. The majority of all students (71.70%) reported that generally they brush their teeth everyday, 17.23% often and only 10.09% rarely or never 0.98%. Regarding eating habits, 2.49% reported usually not eating any snacks during the day, 43.74% eating one snack, and 41.54% eating two. The main reason for visiting the dentist for 53,79% was the existence of caries and for 46.21% an orthodontic problem. Time of last visit to the dentist for 20.06% was a month ago, for 15.36% 6 months ago, for 12.69% a year ago, and for 4.79% two years ago. Of all students 11.85% have never visited a dentist and 35.20% could not remember when their last visit was. Conclusion: The oral hygiene levels of Greek students remain unsatisfactory and the implementation of oral health education programs is a necessity. The school is by definition a perfect learning environment and future oral health promotion programs in such a setting may have better results in teaching children good oral health practices if they include parents and teachers in their target group.
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