Medisur (Apr 2011)
Effectiveness of an educational intervention in schoolchildren from 8 to 11 presenting deforming
Background: the practice of deforming oral habits may interfere with normal growth and development of the stomatognathic system and, consequently, cause dentomaxillofacial abnormalities. Objective: to analyze the effectiveness of an educational intervention in children from 8 to 11 presenting deforming oral habits. Methods: a quasi-experimental study was conducted before and after the intervention. The sample consisted of 67 children from the "Roberto Fleites" primary school in Cienfuegos, from January to September 2008. Different types of patterns and anomalies were identified for each child. The special program "Take Care of Your Smile" was applied weekly. A survey was applied to children, parents and educators before and after the application of educative and prevention actions and treatment. Results: deforming habits were eliminated in 66 % of cases (more frequent deforming habits were tongue protraction, bottle suction and nail biting) and dentomaxillofacial abnormalities were reduced. The knowledge level of children, parents and educators was raised. Conclusions: deforming habits constitute a health problem that can be prevented in early stages in order to improve the harmony of the stomatognathic system components. An educational intervention can be effective for prevention in these cases.