A.A Dedeke1, M.E Osuh1, F.B Lawal1, O. Ibiyemi1, O.O Bankole2, J.O Taiwo1, O. Denloye2 and G.A Oke1

  1. Department of Periodontology and Community Dentistry, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria.
  2. Department of Child Oral Health. University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria.


Background: School teachers play key roles in imparting appropriate and up-to-date knowledge to pupils and students. However, most teachers in developing countries like Nigeria have poor knowledge and motivation about oral health which may be due to inadequate training in the area of oral health. This might be one of the reasons for the poor oral hygiene among them and their students.

Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of an oral health care training programme organized for teachers in Eruwa, Oyo state, Nigeria.

Methods: An intervention study was conducted among 40 school teachers who attended a two day oral health training workshop at Eruwa, headquarters of Ibarapa East Local Government Area. Training methods included lectures and demonstrations on aetiology, clinical features, treatment and prevention of common oral diseases. Pre- and post- evaluation written tests were administered to the participants to assess the effectiveness of the training. The knowledge scores were rated as poor, fair and good knowledge scoring <50.0%, 50.0-60.0% and > 60.0% respectively. Frequencies, percentages and means of relevant variables were generated. Paired t-test was used to compare means at P<0.05.

Result: The mean age of the teachers was 40.13 ±7.24 years. There were 16 (40.0%) males and 24 (60.0%) females. Twenty (50.0%) of the participants had poor pre-training knowledge as compared to 7 (17.5%) after the training. Thirteen (32.5%) had fair pre-training knowledge as compared to 17 (42.5%) post training. Only (2.5%) of the participants had good pre-training knowledge as compared to 18 (45.0%) post training. The mean scores of the pre- and post-evaluation tests were 31.70 ±11.31 and 48.20 ±11.16 respectively. There was a statistically significant difference between the mean scores of the pre and post evaluations P<0.05.

Conclusions: The training workshop improved the knowledge of school teachers regarding oral health.

Keywords: Effectiveness, Oral health training, Teachers.


Dr. Dedeke A. A.
Dept. of Perio. & Comm. Dentistry
University College Hospital,
Ibadan, Nigeria
Telephone: +2348023418573
E-mail: doctordedeke@yahoo.ca


During the school year, children spend most of their time with their teachers. Similarly, the knowledge and skills needed to attain their future goals and nurture hidden potentials are acquired during this period. School teachers by virtue of their training can influence a large number of children thereby play major role in the planning and implementation of oral health preventive programs. Hanganu et al.,1 reported that school based health promotion and preventive efforts are efficient since many children can be reached through the classrooms. Teachers can provide the necessary skills about oral health care to children. The teachers can also help with early detection of oral diseases with subsequent prompt referral. This will translate into better oral health when these children grow up.

School teachers are not always able to adequately inform the children and the society about oral health. This may be due to their poor knowledge of oral health. 2-5 In addition, the oral health education sessions conducted by teachers at schools were observed to be deficient in content and in methods.2

Reports from the American Surgeon General’s conference on Children and oral health indicated that children loose an estimated 52 million hours of school each year because of oral diseases.6 Furthermore, poor oral health among children has been related to decreased school performance, poor social relationships, and less success later in life,7 this is most likely due to the missed days in school and the resulting psychological affectation. If teachers are able to detect oral diseases early, it will pave way for the arrest of progression as well as reduce the need for expensive dental procedure. Holt and Kraft7 reported that teachers may not understand psychosocial problems resulting from oral diseases except they are well informed about what the diseases are and its possible impact.

From an effective school based oral health programme, the capacity of teachers in the delivery of oral health care can improve if training programmes are organized for them rather than the usual situation of having to read oral health documents on their own. Nyandindi8 reported that teachers trained in workshops had improved quality of oral health education sessions than when they studied oral health manuals alone. This had led to the establishment of a national programme for oral health education carried out by primary school teachers in Tanzania.9

With teachers being well informed through the oral health training workshop, they will be better equipped to enlighten the children thus leading to an improved oral health for both teachers and students.

This intervention study was carried out among all 40 teachers who attended the workshop from 10 primary and 10 secondary schools in Eruwa, headquarters of Ibarapa East Local Government Area of Oyo state. The schools were randomly selected from a sampling frame obtained at the Local government secretariat. Eruwa is a rural community with a population of about 70,000 people situated about 60 kilometers south of Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo State, in southwestern Nigeria10. The main occupation of the inhabitants of Eruwa are farming and trading.

The 40 teachers were randomly selected by their school authority to attend an oral health care training programme at one of the secondary schools in Eruwa. All the 40 teachers consented to participate and written informed consent was obtained from them before the commencement of the training. The training was carried out using a lecture manual and visual aids.

Prior to the training, all participants were given a pretest in form of a 35 item semi-structured selfadministered questionnaire consisting of sociodemographic data and knowledge of the aetiology,clinical features, treatment and prevention of common oral diseases.

The total obtainable mark for knowledge of oral care was 100% with poor, fair and good knowledge scoring <50%, 50-60% and >60% respectively.

Post-test was carried out 30 minutes after the training using the same questionnaires that were used in the pre-test. Data were cleaned, entered into a personal computer and the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 19 was used for the analysis13. Frequencies, mean, median and mode were generated and paired t-test was used to compare means at P<0.05