Article : Carious lesions of permanent molars and oral health practices of parents and peers in Saudi male adolescents

Eman A. Bakhurji, Maha M. El Tantawi, Balgis O. Gaffar, Khalifa S. Al-Khalifa, Asim A. Al-Ansari


Objectives: To assess the association between carious lesions in first and second permanent molars in adolescents and their parents’ and peers’ oral health practices.

Methods: This cross-sectional study of 12-15 year-old male adolescents was conducted in  Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on February 2016. Data collection included dental examination to measure carious lesions and plaque. There was a questionnaire to assess oral health practices such as brushing with fluoridated toothpaste, current daily tobacco use, and daily consumption of sugary food and drinks. Logistic regression models assessed the association between first and second molars carious lesions with adolescents’, parents’, and peers’ oral health practices.

Results: Of 302 students, 294 participated. The mother’s brushing was significantly associated with a lower odds of carious lesions in the first molar (odds ratio [OR] = 0.17, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.04 - 0.77). The mothers’ sugary food intake and students’ own brushing were significantly associated with carious lesions in the second molar (OR = 1.95 and 0.36, 95% CI: 1.01-9.89 and 0.12-0.89). Friends’ intake of sugary drinks had a strong, but non-significant, association with second molar’s carious lesions (OR=3.61, 95% CI: 0.35 - 7.44).

Conclusion: In Saudi society, mothers have a major influence on their adolescent sons’ carious lesions. Adolescents’ oral health strategies should involve parents to reduce their risk of caries. 

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