Author(s): Tasneem S. Ain, Saima Sultan, Owais Gowhar

BACKGROUND To organize community-oriented oral health promotion programs, systematic analysis of the oral health situation would be needed, including information on oral health knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP). We wanted to assess knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) of 7- to 12-year-old school children of various govt. and private schools of Srinagar, Kashmir, towards oral health. METHODS A cross-sectional study was carried out among 7- to 12-year-old school children of various govt. and private schools of Srinagar, Kashmir. A convenient sample of 600 students was selected for the study. A 14-item pre-formed, self-administered validated questionnaire was distributed among the study subjects. Confidentiality of the responses to the questionnaire was assured to the participants. The questionnaire included the questions regarding the basic oral health knowledge, and also those related to attitude and practice towards oral health. The duly filled questionnaires were collected the same day from the respondents so as to avoid the influence of parents on the responses of the students. RESULTS About 31% of the respondents acquired information regarding the oral health from their parents; 20.75% from the dentists; around 18% from friends; 16.6% gain information from teachers while as the rest acquired their information from relatives, television and radio. Majority (77.35%) of the children were scared of visiting the dentist thinking that the dental treatment causes pain. Majority (79.05%) of the students brushed their teeth once; 18.1% children brushed their teeth twice; 1.88% brushed their teeth sometimes; and 0.94% did not brush their teeth at all. CONCLUSIONS Knowledge among children with regard to oral health was poor and needs to be improved.