From the perspective of lifeline express: Oral hygiene practices and reported barriers in rural India

Kuldeep Singh Shekhawat, Arunima Chauhan, Rajnish Gourh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: As India strives to achieve universal health coverage, improvement in oral health-care delivery through availability of skilled and motivated dental professional is essential. To provide effective oral care, understanding of the current oral hygiene practices and the existing scenario of oral care services is a must so that oral care can be customized for every geographical region keeping in mind the prevalent cultural trends. Aim: This study aimed to determine the oral hygiene practices of a section of rural population in India with the secondary objective to report barriers for utilizing oral health care. Material and Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire study was conducted among 384 patients who reported to dental unit of Lifeline Express for treatment. Responses were obtained on a 5-item questionnaire consisting of items relating to their oral hygiene practices and consumption of tobacco and alcohol. History of dental pain in the preceding 12 months and reported barriers in utilizing oral health services were also elicited. The data were analyzed for descriptive statistics. Results: Only 52% cleaned their teeth using toothbrush and toothpaste. About 30% preferred traditional chewing sticks and 10% do not clean their teeth. About 36% reported consumption of tobacco and 85% experienced dental pain. Sixty-one percentage of patients did not visit dentist. Lack of knowledge, unavailability of dentist, and “no pain after the first visit” were the main reasons for not utilizing/further utilizing dental care. Conclusion: Our findings suggest encouraging traditional oral hygiene aid among rural population. There is a need to educate rural population which can help them overcome the reported barriers and utilize oral health services to the fullest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-210
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences University
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01-07-2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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