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1.  Changing dental caries and periodontal disease patterns among a cohort of Ethiopian immigrants to Israel: 1999–2005 
BMC Public Health  2008;8:345.
Dental epidemiology has indicated that immigrants and minority ethnic groups should be regarded as high risk populations on the verge of oral health deterioration. The objectives of this study were to measure the changing pattern of dental caries, periodontal health status and tooth cleaning behaviour among a cohort of Ethiopian immigrants to Israel between the years 1999–2005.
Increment of dental caries and periodontal health status was recorded among a cohort of 672 Ethiopian immigrants, utilizing the DMFT and CPI indices. Data were gathered during 1999–2000 and five years later, during 2004–2005. Participants were asked about their oral hygiene habits in Ethiopia and in Israel five years since their immigration.
Regarding dental caries, at baseline 70.1% of the examinees were caries-free, as compared to 57.3% after five years. DMFT had increased from 1.48 to 2.31. For periodontal health status, at baseline, 94.7% demonstrated no periodontal pockets (CPI scores 0–2) and 5.3% revealed periodontal pockets (CPI scores 3&4), compared to 75.6% and 24.4%, respectively after five years. At baseline, 74% reported cleaning their teeth exclusively utilizing chewing and cleaning sticks common in Ethiopia. After five years, 97% reported cleaning their teeth exclusively utilizing toothbrushes.
The deterioration in the oral health status, especially the alarming and significant worsening of periodontal health status, among this immigrant group, emphasizes the need for health promotion and maintenance among immigrants and minority groups in changing societies. An "acclimatizing and integrating" model of oral health promotion among minority and immigrant groups is suggested.
PMCID: PMC2565680  PMID: 18828927
2.  Oral health promotion for schoolchildren – evaluation of a pragmatic approach with emphasis on improving brushing skills 
BMC Oral Health  2008;8:4.
Preventive dentistry has traditionally emphasized improvement of oral hygiene. School-based programs, often delivered by dental hygienists or other health educators, are usually limited to dental knowledge provision. The present study focused on promotion of health behavior. The objectives were to evaluate the effect of a pragmatic educational program on tooth brushing skills of young schoolchildren.
The population consisted of 196 first grade children in Jerusalem. One dentist interviewed the children and evaluated base-line brushing skills, applying simple visual index, based on dividing the dentition to eight different segments. a trained hygienist then educated the children, emphasizing brushing skills. A simple "scrubbing" brushing method was taught for all dental surfaces. Four months later a second examination was conducted, applying same evaluation methods.
At base-line 92% of the children had brushed the labial surfaces of front teeth, but only 8% brushed the inner surfaces of posterior teeth. Only 32% brushed occlusal surfaces. These levels significantly increased after four months: 98% now brushed the labial surfaces; 43% brushed inner surfaces of posterior teeth, 87% brushed occlusal surfaces (p < 0.001). The average number of dental "areas" brushed had increased (among the eight areas recorded) from 2.8 to 5.7 (p < 0.0001).
This method of behavioural instruction emphasized improvement of personal manual skills specifically for those areas of the dentition which demand most efforts in oral hygiene promotion. These results are of practical help in improving future health education programs by the health promotion team.
PMCID: PMC2253522  PMID: 18237389
3.  Early Childhood Caries among a Bedouin community residing in the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem 
BMC Public Health  2007;7:167.
ECC is commonly prevalent among underprivileged populations. The Jahalin Bedouin are a severely deprived, previously nomadic tribe, dwelling on the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem. The aim of this study was to assess ECC prevalence and potentially associated variables.
102 children aged 12–36 months were visually examined for caries, mothers' anterior dentition was visually subjectively appraised, demographic and health behavior data were collected by interview.
Among children, 17.6% demonstrated ECC, among mothers, 37.3% revealed "fairly bad" anterior teeth. Among children drinking bottles there was about twice the level of ECC (20.3%) than those breast-fed (13.2%). ECC was found only among children aged more than one year (p < 0.001); more prevalent ECC (55.6%) was found among large (10–13 children) families than among smaller families (1–5 children: 13.5%, 6–9 children: 15.6%) (p = 0.009); ECC was more prevalent among children of less educated mothers (p = 0.037); ECC was more prevalent among mothers with "fairly poor" anterior dentition (p = 0.04). Oral hygiene practices were poor.
ECC levels in this community were not very high but neither low. This changing population might be on the verge of a wider dental disease "epidemic". Public health efforts clearly need to be invested towards the oral health and general welfare of this community.
PMCID: PMC1963333  PMID: 17650296

Results 1-3 (3)