Introduction: Dental caries is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases affecting children in Sub-Saharan Africa. Previous studies show a higher prevalence of dental caries in children from low socio-economic status backgrounds. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of dental caries among 12 year old children in urban and rural areas of Zimbabwe and establish preliminary baseline data. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among 12 year old children at primary schools in Harare and Bikita district. A Pre-tested questionnaire was administered to elicit information from the participants on tooth cleaning, dietary habits and dental experience. Dental caries status was assessed using the DMFT index following World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. Results: Our results showed a high prevalence of dental caries in both urban (59. 5%) and rural (40. 8%) children. The mean DMFT in urban and rural areas was 1. 29 and 0. 66, respectively. Furthermore, our data showed a general lack of knowledge on oral health issues by the participants. Conclusion: There is high prevalence of dental caries among 12 years old school children in both urban and rural areas of Zimbabwe. This calls for early preventive strategies and treatment services. We recommend incorporation of oral health education in the elementary school curricula.
Mafuvadze, B. T., Mahachi, L., & Mafuvadze, B. (2013). Dental caries and oral health practice among 12 year old school children from low socio-economic status background in Zimbabwe. Pan African Medical Journal, 14, 164. https://doi.org/10.11604/pamj.2013.14.164.2399