An Oral Health Status of Children in Government and Private Secondary Schools in Lagos State, Nigeria
Keywords:Dental caries,, oral health education,, oral hygiene status,, school children,, socio-demographic factors
Objective: Oral diseases are significantly influenced by socio-demographic factors. Therefore, assessing the
oral health status of school children in government and private schools may provide information on the oral
health status of children from different socioeconomic background. This study assessed and compared the
oral health status between government-owned (public) and private school children in Lagos State, Nigeria.
Methods: Subjects were selected using multi-stage sampling technique. Caries and oral hygiene status were
assessed using WHO criteria and the Simplified Oral Hygiene Index of Greene and Vermillion. Data was
analysed using Statistical Package for Social Science Version 20.0. Statistical significance was determined at P
Results: A total of 598 students were examined, among these, 300 (50.2%) were from government schools
and 298 (49.8% vs 7.4%) from private schools. More students from the government schools than those in
public schools had poor oral hygiene (36.7%). Students from government schools had a significant higher
mean OHIS score (1.82Â±1.41) than those from private schools (1.47Â±1.08) (P < 0.001).The prevalence of
dental caries was 10.7% and 8.7% among children from government school and private schools respectively.
The mean DMFT score of children from government schools was significantly higher (P < 0.001).
Conclusion: Dental caries prevalence was higher and the oral hygiene status poorer among government
school children compared to those in private schools. This indicates the need to develop, implement oral
health education program and promote oral health among students especially in government schools yet not
neglecting those in private schools.