Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/3890
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Type: Journal article
Title: Public knowledge of the prevention of dental decay and gum diseases
Author: Roberts-Thomson, K.
Spencer, A.
Citation: Australian Dental Journal, 1999; 44(4):253-258
Publisher: Australian Dental Association
Issue Date: 1999
ISSN: 0045-0421
1834-7819
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Kaye F. Roberts Thomson, and A. John Spencer
Abstract: In 1992, a mail survey was conducted among South Australians aged 10 years and older to assess the knowledge of prevention of dental caries and gum diseases and to explore its variation by sociodemographic factors. The survey provided 838 completed questionnaires. Questions were asked on perceptions of importance of a number of preventive measures, the main purpose of water fluoridation and sources of information. Respondents rated four myths for preventing dental caries as the most important: 97 per cent rated regular tooth brushing; 87 per cent rated regular dental visits; 85 per cent rated calcium in the diet; and 78 per cent rated eating fibrous foods as definitely or probably important. Only 56 per cent of respondents rated drinking water with fluoride as definitely or probably important for preventing dental caries, and only half (50.2 per cent) identified the main purpose of water fluoridation as the prevention of decay. Respondents rated regular tooth brushing (96 per cent) and regular dental visits (87 per cent) as important for the prevention of gum diseases. However, the myth of massaging the gums was rated as important by 67 per cent. Higher percentages of females, older adults and those with lower educational attainment rated the myths for preventing caries as important. Younger people were less able to specify the main purpose for fluoridation of water supplies. The persistence of myths and the low rating of the importance of scientifically efficacious measures are major challenges for oral health promotion.
Keywords: Prevention; dental diseases; myths; knowledge
Description: The document attached has been archived with permission from the Australian Dental Association (23rd Jan 2008). An external link to the publisher’s copy is included.
RMID: 0030003027
DOI: 10.1111/j.1834-7819.1999.tb00229.x
Published version: http://www.ada.org.au/App_CmsLib/Media/Lib/0610/M29957_v1_632975477811222500.pdf
Appears in Collections:Dentistry publications

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