The oral health status of street children in Adana, Turkey

Dogan M. C. , Haytac M. C. , Ozali O., Seydaoglu G. , Yoldas O., Oztunc H.

INTERNATIONAL DENTAL JOURNAL, cilt.56, ss.92-96, 2006 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier identifier


Aim: To determine the oral health status of street children and compare the results with a group of non-working children in Adana, Turkey. Street children are generally defined as any boy or girl for whom the street has become his or her habitual abode and/or source of livelihood; and who is inadequately protected, supervised, or directed by responsible adults. Study design: Demographic data including education, employment and social insurance of parents and number of siblings, was obtained. A formal interview with structured questions was used in order to determine the oral health behaviour of the children. Oral examinations were performed according to the criteria of the WHO oral examination form. Results: The oral health behaviour of street children was significantly different from non-working children. While DMFT and dmft scores of the street youths were significantly lower than the control group, they had higher CPITN scores (p <= 0.0011). Conclusion: Street children are commonly faced with oral health problems, especially periodontal problems. Therefore, the dental and periodontal needs of this particular population must be addressed. Oral health policies and preventive services including oral health promotion programmes which aim to give information about dental issues and to make positive changes in behavioural and environmental factors should be developed. The priority should be to control the factors which result in the occurrence of new dental problems.