Author(s): Abdulrahman O Musaiger, Mariam AlMannai, Abduljawad E
The purpose of this study was to determine the risk of dental caries in relation to oral hygiene habits and food intake among women at university in Saudi Arabia.
A sample of 935 undergraduate university women was selected from the King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. A previously pretested questionnaire was used to collect the data. Odds ratios were calculated to estimate the risk of dental caries associated with oral hygiene and food intake.
The findings revealed that women who cleaned their teeth three times or more per day mostly cleaned their teeth after intake of sweets and chocolates, and had no gingivitis were at less risk of dental caries than other women (p=0.029, p=0.000 and p=0.000, respectively). The intake of milk, fruit and vegetables on 4 days or more per week was found to protect against dental caries (odds ratios=0.34, 0.64 and 0.73, respectively), whereas the intake of chocolate and soft drinks for the same period was found to be a risk factor for dental caries (odds ratios=1.8 and 1.4, respectively).
The results of this study are useful for public health intervention programs to combat dental caries in the Saudi community.