Author(s): Onyeaso CO
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To assess the prevalence of oral habits among 7-10 year-old children in Ibadan, Nigeria. DESIGN: An epidemiological survey of randomly selected school children. Criteria for social class was based on registrar general's social class. SETTING: Primary schools from different parts of Ibadan city, Nigeria. SUBJECTS: 493 school children aged 7-10 years consisting of 237(48.1\%) boys and 256(51.9\%) girls. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Only children still actively involved in oral habits were coded positive. RESULTS: In all, 49(9.9\%) of the children were involved in one type of oral habit or the other with digit sucking being most prevalent 40(8.1\%). Lip sucking was observed in 6(1.2\%) while 1(0.2\%) had an unusual sucking habit--sucking of left forearm with resultant severe anterior open bite (10 mm). The relationship between the oral habits anterior open-bite and increased overjets were very significant statistically (p<0.01). No significant associations were noted between the habits and social class as well as Angle's classification of molar relations. None of the children examined had gone for routine dental check-ups before except for the 62(12.6\%) who had previous dental consultations due to toothaches. CONCLUSION: Oral habits especially digit sucking needing management was revealed by this study and none of them had been to a dentist for help. This suggests that there is need to intensify oral health education in our environment, targeted at both parents and school children to enable them benefit from interceptive orthodontic care which has numerous advantages.
This article was published in East Afr Med J
and referenced in Pediatric Dental Care