Misconceptions Regarding Oral Health among Patients Visiting a Private Dental College in Bangalore: A Cross-Sectional Survey
*Corresponding author: Dr. Aditi Hegde, Department of Public Health Dentistry, Dayananda Sagar College of Dental Sciences, Bangalore-78. Ph: +919916448570, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Oral diseases are usually multifactorial in nature with the patient's own belief regarding oral health influencing oral hygiene practices, self-care and service utilization, and thus indirectly influencing oral health.
This study was undertaken to assess the oral health related misconceptions prevalent in the patients visiting the out-patient department (OPD) of a dental college in Bangalore.
Materials and method
A cross-sectional survey was conducted on 151 individuals selected through convenience sampling. Information regarding dento-oral myths and misconceptions was collected using a 25-item pre-validated, self-administered, structured, close-ended questionnaire.
Participants belonged to a range of age-groups, from 17–58 years, with a mean age of 30.93 (± 9.85) years. About 31.1%, believed that brushing more than once a day can harm the teeth enamel and 37.7% of people endorsed the myth that they shouldn't brush their teeth with bleeding gums. The majority of participants, 45.7%, believed that charcoal, salt, rice, tobacco etc. in powder form are better at cleansing the tooth than toothpaste. Close to 25% of the participants thought that extraction of an upper tooth can result in loss of vision.
Majority of the participants in this study believed in one or the other myths related to oral health. Influenced by these beliefs, people tend to practice self-care strategies that are actually harmful. Health professionals, government and non-governmental organizations, and public health associations need to work together to dispel these rumors.
Dental care, Oral health, Oral health knowledge, Taboos.