Objectives: To assess the level of dental knowledge and attitudes among
12 year-old children and 35-44 year-olds in Burkina Faso; to evaluate
the pattern of oral health behaviour among these cohorts in relation to
location, gender and social characteristics and; to evaluate the
relative effect of social-behavioural risk factors on caries experience.
Design: Across sectional study including urban and rural subgroups of
population. Sample and methods: Multistage cluster sampling of
households in urban areas; in rural areas random samples of participants
were based on the recent population census. The final study population
covered two age groups: 12 years (n=505) and 35-44 years (n=493).
Results: For both children and adults, levels of oral health knowledge,
attitudes and self-care were low; 36% of 12-year-olds and 57% of
35-44-year-olds carried out toothcleaning on a daily basis. Pain and
discomfort from teeth were common while dental visits were infrequent.
Tooth cleaning was mostly performed by use of chewsticks. Use of
toothpaste was rare, particularly fluoridated toothpaste was seldom; 9%
of 12-year-olds and 18% of 35-44-year-olds reported use of fluoride
toothpaste. Significant differences were found in oral health knowledge,
attitudes and practices according to location and gender. At age 12,
important factors of high caries experience were location (urban), and
consumption of soft drinks and fresh fruits. In 35-44-year-olds, gender
(female), high education level, dental visit and occupation (government
employee) were the significant factors of high dental caries experience
whereas adults using traditional chewing sticks had lower DMFT.
Conclusions: Health authorities should strengthen the implementation of
oral disease prevention and health promotion programmes rather than
traditional curative care. Community-oriented essential care and
affordable fluoride toothpaste should be encouraged.
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