We conducted a large household survey in 2013 to determine the current status of oral health practices and use of oral health services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
The Saudi Health Information Survey is a national multistage survey of individuals ≥ 15 years of age. We used a backward elimination multivariate logistic regression model to measure the association between having been to a dental clinic during the last year, and sex, age, marital status, education, time since last routine medical examination, history of diagnosis with a cardiovascular chronic condition, brushing or flossing teeth and use of Miswak (a chewing stick).
Between April and June 2013, 10,735 participants completed the survey (89.4% of the households contacted). An estimated 1.5 million (11.5%) and 6.3 million (48.6%) Saudi Arabian people, ≥ 15 years of age, had visited a dental clinic for a routine check-up and for a complaint during the last year, respectively. In total, 16.3%, 85.0% and 52% of Saudi Arabian people never brush their teeth, never floss their teeth or never use Miswak, respectively. The probability of visiting a dental clinic increased with education, among individuals who brushed or flossed their teeth and who used Miswak.
Oral hygiene practices are not common among Saudi Arabian people, and use of health care for prevention of oral disease is limited. Hence, the need for oral health promotion is pressing. The KSA Ministry of Health should develop and implement programmes, through its primary health clinics, to increase the awareness of the importance of good oral health.
El Bcheraoui C, Tuffaha M, Daoud F, Kravitz H, AlMazroa MA, Al Saeedi M, Memish ZA, Basulaiman M, Al Rabeeah AA, Mokdad AH. Use of dental clinics and oral hygiene practices in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 2013. International Dental Journal. 2016 Jan 7. doi: 10.1111/idj.12210.