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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Oral Health 1/2015

Comparative clinical study testing the effectiveness of school based oral health education using experiential learning or traditional lecturing in 10 year-old children

BMC Oral Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Matina V Angelopoulou, Katerina Kavvadia, Konstantina Taoufik, Constantine J Oulis
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s12903-015-0036-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests. The project overall was funded by Colgate-Palmolive, Greece.

Authors’ contributions

MVA carried out the clinical examinations, acquired all data and drafted the manuscript. KK participated in the design of the study, carried out clinical examinations, participated in the interpretation of data and revised the paper to its final version. KT participated in the design of the study and carried out clinical examinations. CJO conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination and helped to revise critically the paper. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Authors’ information

MVA.DDS, MS, Assistant Professor, Division of Pediatric Dentistry, Marquette University, School of Dentistry. KK. DDS, MS, PhD Associate Professor, Department of Paediatric Dentistry, Dental School, University of Athens. KT. DDS, MS, Pediatric Dentist. CJO. DDS, MS, PhD, Professor, Department of Paediatric Dentistry, Dental School, University of Athens.



School based oral health education through traditional lecturing has been found successful only in improving oral health knowledge, while has low effectiveness in oral hygiene and gingival health. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of experiential learning (EL) oral health education to traditional lecturing (TL), on enhancing oral health knowledge, attitude and behavior as well as oral hygiene, gingival health and caries of 10-year-old children.


Eighty-four children were recruited for the EL and 100 for the TL group from 3 locations in Greece. Data regarding oral health knowledge, attitude and behavior were collected via questionnaires. Data regarding dental plaque, gingivitis and caries were collected by clinical examination. The evaluation using questionnaires and clinical examination was assessed at baseline and 6 and 18 months afterwards. Two calibrated pediatric dentists examined the students using a periodontal probe and artificial light. Modified hygiene index (HI) was used for dental plaque recording, the simplified gingival index (GI-S) was used for gingivitis and DMFT, based on BASCD criteria, for dental caries. Based on a dedicated manual, the teacher applied in the classroom the oral health educational program using EL.


EL group had statistically significant better hygiene than the TL at 6 months (p < 0.05). Within the same group, both groups had enhanced oral health knowledge at 6 and 18 months (p < 0.05) and improved oral health behavior (p > 0.05) and attitude (p > 0.05) at 6 months in comparison to baseline.


EL program was found more successful than TL in oral hygiene improvement. Both oral health education programs improved the oral health knowledge, attitude and behavior of children.

Trial registration (NCT02320162).
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