Aim: Oral habits during and beyond preschool age are one of the important etiological factors in developing malocclusion and other ill effects on orofacial structures. The objective of the present study was to know the prevalence of deleterious oral habits among 3- to 5-year-old preschool children in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India.
Materials and methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among preschool children, in the age group of 3 to 5 years in the city of Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. To carry out this study, six private schools, two from each of the three electoral constituency, were selected using cluster sampling technique. A total of 500 students, studying in LKG and UKG and their respective mothers/caregivers were selected for the study as per the inclusion/exclusion criteria. Prevalence of different oral habits in children was calculated from the data obtained. Using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), version 17.0 software, Chi-square test was applied to compare the differences present between boys and girls and their significant values (p < 0.05).
Results: The result of this study showed a high prevalence of oral habits (36%) among preschool children in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. Lip biting was found to be the most prevalent habit (13.4%), followed closely by thumb sucking (12.8%), bruxism (12.8%), and mouth breathing (11%).
Conclusion: The study revealed a great dearth of a wellestablished dental education program for preschool children as well as their parents, caretakers, teachers, and pediatricians in order to provide an effective and timely care to the children.
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