Oral health literacy among students of an engineering college in puducherry

Arunima Chauhan, Sunya Gyati, Kuldeep Singh Shekhawat, M. Senthil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Oral health literacy, plays an important role in the maintenance and promotion of oral health. However, there is limited data on Oral Health Literacy (OHL) among those not related to healthcare professionals. Aim: To determine the OHL of students pursuing their graduation in technical stream (engineering) with secondary objective to determine its association with gender, perception of their oral health and oral health behaviour. Methodology: A cross sectional questionnaire study was conducted among 236 students. A 17 item Oral Health Literacy - Adult Questionnaire (OHL-AQ) was distributed to determine their OHL scores. In addition, data on age, gender, brushing habits, visits to dentists, their self-rating of oral health and source of information was obtained. The data was analysed for mean differences using students ‘t’ tests with significance set at 0.05. Results: More than 59 percent had inadequate oral health literacy. Overall mean score was 5.8 ± 2.7. More than 63 percent of study participants had not visited the dentist in the last 6 months and only 36 percent brushed their teeth twice a day. Majority rated their oral health as ‘good’. Those rating their oral health as ‘good’ had higher OHL-AQ scores (p<0.05). Gender, visits to dentist and brushing habits had no influence on OHL-AQ score (p>0.05). Internet was the commonly reported source of information. Conclusion: OHL was found to be inadequate among the study participants. Oral health is an important concept that needs to be followed irrespective of educational background. Efforts needs to be directed towards those population with limited levels of Oral Health Literacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-414
Number of pages6
JournalIndian Journal of Public Health Research and Development
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 08-2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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