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Untreated Dental Caries: Health Education

Introductory Details of the Article

The article reviewed in the scope of this paper is titled “Effect of school-based oral health education in preventing untreated dental caries and increasing knowledge, attitude, and practices among adolescents in Bangladesh.” It was written by Haque et al. and published in BMC Oral Health journal in 2016. It is a quantitative intervention study that follows an experimental, theoretical framework. The article was published in a famous peer-reviewed journal, attesting to its credibility. The purpose of the research is to assess the impact of school-based educational interventions targeting oral health in Bangladesh because it is a neglected area of public health policy.

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The article uses a quantitative method of randomized sampling and data collection, similar to other studies dedicated to testing out the effectiveness of school-based dental healthcare. The study was conducted in a school setting, by the premise of the experiment (Haque et al., 2016). Quantitative studies are known to be more accurate than qualitative and less prone to misinterpretation (Guetterman, Fetters, & Creswell, 2015). The statistical analysis instruments used in the article and the literature review accompanying the premise support the validity of the method (Heale & Twycross, 2015).

Some of the limitations of the method include a poor representation of the target population. The researchers use some measures to counter this limitation by choosing the appropriate sampling method and ensure equal representation based on age and gender groups (Elfil & Negida, 2017). These limitations may be considered minor or significant, depending on the research question. These issues affect the ability to answer the original research question for the US population, although the study provides evidence supporting educational interventions. Another issue is the difference between oral hygiene knowledge and practice in the US and in Bangladesh, which is not assessed in the article. However, the authors provide a sufficient theoretical framework and background information that can be used to develop school-based educational interventions in the US using the approach described in the study.


The results were interpreted based on the dependent and independent variables presented in the statistical analysis. Namely, the researchers evaluated the caries levels, the number of filled and unfilled cavities, and the overall damage to teeth. The findings were directly related to the original problem and the author’s view of the evidence, as other findings pointed out that caries and cavities constitute the primary sources of dental damage. The author’s implicit hypothesis is that an oral health education program would increase oral health knowledge, attitude, and practices and reduce the prevalence of untreated dental caries in 6-8 graders in Bangladesh (Haque et al., 2016).

The research provided new factual information about the effectiveness of a specific interventional method in a particular setting. The levels of statistical significance were described by P values, with P less than 0.05 described as statistically significant (Haque et al., 2016). The findings and observations of the study support the observations in similar studies by other researchers, confirming the effectiveness of oral health education in children as a means of improving health habits and reducing caries. This enhanced the understanding of the educational intervention phenomena in the dental health field by providing implications for the development of effective evidence-based interventions and public health policies that target the improvement of children’s knowledge. The authors used standard research techniques, without an application of new strategies.


The research contributed to human knowledge by providing evidence of the effectiveness of educational interventions in a school-based setting. However, the effectiveness of such an approach varies greatly from one research to another (Blake, Dawett, Leighton, Rose-Brady, & Deery, 2015). The practical applications suggested by the article include school-based theoretical education, supervised toothbrushing, and follow-up questionnaires to test the levels of acquired knowledge. The nursing implications of the research suggest that oral health education in schools is a cost-effective way of counteracting caries when compared to standard dental operations. The significance of this research for Bangladesh cannot be overstated, as the article could be used to support the introduction of government-sponsored dental health initiatives in schools.


Blake, H., Dawett, B., Leighton, P., Rose-Brady, L., & Deery, C. (2015). School-based educational intervention to improve children’s oral health–related knowledge. Health promotion practice, 16(4), 571-582.

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Elfil, M., & Negida, A. (2017). Sampling methods in clinical research; an educational review. Emergency, 5(1), 1-3.

Guetterman, T. C., Fetters, M. D., & Creswell, J. W. (2015). Integrating quantitative and qualitative results in health science mixed methods research through joint displays. The Annals of Family Medicine, 13(6), 554-561.

Haque, S. E., Rahman, M., Itsuko, K., Mutahara, M., Kayako, S., Tsutsumi, A., Mostofa, M. G. (2016). Effect of a school-based oral health education in preventing untreated dental caries and increasing knowledge, attitude, and practices among adolescents in Bangladesh. BMC Oral Health, 16(1), 1-10.

Heale, R., & Twycross, A. (2015). Validity and reliability in quantitative studies. Evidence-based nursing, 18(3), 66-67.

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