PURPOSE : To evaluate the effectiveness of a tooth brushing programme
in a community trial in the Ehlanzeni district,
METHODOLOGY : Two samples of 250 children, 8-10 years old and in grade
3, were randomly selected from schools in the district.
The intervention group comprised children who had
taken part in the brushing project since it was incepted
in 2012. The control group comprised children who had
not participated. Caries was scored according to WHO
Criteria (1997) and odontogenic infections using the PUFA/
pufa index. These data and the treatment needs of the
two groups were compared statistically.
RESULTS : The prevalence of dental caries (primary and permanent
teeth) was 57.2%, intervention group and 74.8%,
control group. The intervention group recorded DMFT of
0.15 and a dmft of 1.82, whilst the control group recorded
0.38 and 2.50 respectively.
Odontogenic infections occurred in 22% of the intervention
group (mean 0.40), compared with 36% in the
non-intervention group (mean 0.82). The intervention
group presented with 30.8% less dental caries and 63.6% less odontogenic infections than the control group.
CONCLUSION : The results of the study show that this targeted population
approach resulted in significantly less caries in the intervention
group than in the control group.