Aim: Oral health is one of the leading preventable problems around the globe. India is the second largest populous country, with the majority of the population living in rural areas. Rural population still uses traditional methods to maintain oral hygiene as opposed to urban population which has progressed to electronic toothbrushes. The aim of the present study was to identify the predisposing risk factors for oral health issues among early adolescents and develop a health risk communication tool that will aid in addressing the problem of oral hygiene in school-going children. Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study that included 920 school-going children of class 6 to 9th was conducted in the region of Balotra, Rajasthan, India. Single-stage cluster sampling technique was used in the study to select and collect data from children from 23 (15 government and 8 private) schools that were randomly selected. Analysis was done using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 15.0. Results: Overall, the prevalence of caries and dental fluorosis was found to be 47% and 61% respectively. The oral health problem of dental caries was seen to be less prevalent in girls (39.7%). Dental caries were found to be more in government schools (58.7%) and in rural areas (59.6%) as compared with urban areas (52.1%). It was also observed that prevalence of dental caries was more in permanent dentition (44%) as compared with primary dentition (14%). Factors found to be associated with caries were private schools, age of the children, and irregular brushing habits. Conclusion: Based on the prevalence of caries and fluorosis and other findings of the study, it can be concluded that children lack knowledge and awareness about oral hygiene. There is a need to enhance the oral health knowledge level of school-going children. Implementation of a school health program would help change the status quo, and positively influence oral health and well-being of children. Clinical significance: Initiatives should be taken in the field of public health dentistry to address the problems of caries and dental fluorosis as they are quite prevalent in the area.
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