Comparison of oral health status among normal and disabled children of Karachi, Pakistan.
Objectives: To compare the oral hygiene status of normal children with hearing and speech impaired and Down syndrome children. Study Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Special needs children school, Deaf Reach School & a public school of Karachi, Pakistan. Period: 6 months from October 2017 to April 2018. Material and Methods: A total of 210 children of age 7-15 years of either gender were enrolled in the study; 70 hearing & speech impaired children, 70 Down syndrome children and 70 normal children were randomly selected for comparison. After taking informed consent the subjects were examined for dental status. Oral hygiene status was assessed by using oral hygiene index‑simplified (OHI-S). The data were analyzed using SPSS version 23. Results: Out of 70 hearing and speech impaired children, majority had fair hygiene status (41.4%), 38.6% had good hygiene status and only 20% had poor hygiene status. Out of 70 Down syndrome children, majority had good hygiene status (45.7%), 28.6% had fair hygiene status and only 25.7% had poor hygiene status. Out of 70 normal children, majority had good hygiene status (68.6%), 20% had fair hygiene status and only 11.4% had poor hygiene status. Conclusion: The high proportion of poor oral health was observed among children with hearing and speech impairment and Down syndrome as compared to normal children. Hence, there is a high need for an epidemiological survey followed by the comprehensive dental care programs for disabled children as well as efforts should be made to spread the awareness and importance of oral health among these children and their family because everyone deserves the opportunity of good oral health and hygiene.”