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1.  Oral health promotion for schoolchildren – evaluation of a pragmatic approach with emphasis on improving brushing skills 
BMC Oral Health  2008;8:4.
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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).
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1186/1472-6831-8-4
PMCID: PMC2253522  PMID: 18237389
2.  Self – perceived and clinically diagnosed dental and periodontal health status among young adults and their implications for epidemiological surveys 
BMC Oral Health  2003;3:3.
Background
Clinical (normative) and subjective (self-assessment) evaluation of caries and periodontal diseases have been reported to demonstrate a significant disparity. The dental public health team is obligated to recognize and understand this gap. The objectives of the study were to investigate the practical values of using questionnaires (self–perceived assessment) as compared to clinical examinations (normative assessment) and to evaluate the implications of the results in understanding the public's perception of oral health.
Methods
The investigation was performed on 4920, 21 year-old Israeli adults upon release from compulsory military service between 1996 and 1998. Participants were asked to fill in a questionnaire inquiring how they would rate their personal dental and periodontal health levels. Clinical examinations, employing the DMFT and CPITN indices, were performed to determine normative oral health status. Perceived and normative assessments were compared for sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values and overall proportions using the clinical examinations as a gold standard.
Results
The sensitivity (disease perception) for dental status was found to be 0.34, while the specificity (health perception) was found to be 0.83. The positive predictive value for perceived dental status was found to be 0.68, whereas the negative predictive value was found to be 0.54. The sensitivity for perceived periodontal status was found to be 0.28, while the specificity was found to be 0.83. The positive predictive value for perceived periodontal status was found to be 0.05, whereas the negative predictive value was found to be 0.97. Regarding the overall proportions, a large discrepancy was found between self–assessment and professional assessment for both dental and periodontal health status.
Conclusions
Self-assessment questionnaires were of low value in evaluating oral health status both in the individual and public levels, though perception levels of health were higher than that of disease. Findings reflects a low level of awareness of the public that may influence care-seeking behavior and highlight the importance of oral health promotion and the crucial need for public health action.
doi:10.1186/1472-6831-3-3
PMCID: PMC169174  PMID: 12857357
3.  Oral hygiene improvement: a pragmatic approach based upon risk and motivation levels 
BMC Oral Health  2008;8:31.
Good oral hygiene has always been the cornerstone of public and private dental health promotion. However, this has often been based upon incorrect assumptions. The public is not always willing and does not always need to change its oral health behavior to the same extent as that expected by the dental profession. The present commentary emphasizes the need to modify oral hygiene instruction according to specific risk and motivation levels. Dentistry needs to be flexible in accepting new evidence-based modalities of oral health promotion. Dentists, dental hygienists and the entire health care team need to accept that the traditional methods of oral health education are not always effective.
doi:10.1186/1472-6831-8-31
PMCID: PMC2615421  PMID: 19014436

Results 1-3 (3)