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Original Research

Open Access

Effect of a School-Based Supervised Tooth Brushing Program In Mexico City: A Cluster Randomized Intervention

  • S Aída Borges-Yáñez1,*,
  • Roberto Carlos Castrejón-Pérez2
  • María Esther Irigoyen Camacho3

1Department of Dental Public Health, Graduate and Research Division, Dental School, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México

2Department of Geriatric Clinical and Epidemiological Research, National Institute of Geriatrics, National Institutes of Health, México

3Department of Health Care, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, México

DOI: 10.17796/1053-4628-41.3.204 Vol.41,Issue 3,May 2017 pp.204-213

Published: 01 May 2017

*Corresponding Author(s): S Aída Borges-Yáñez E-mail:


Large-scale school-based programs effectively provide health education and preventive strategies. SaludARTE is a school-based program, including supervised tooth brushing, implemented in 51 elementary schools in Mexico City. Objectives: To assess the three-month efficacy of supervised tooth brushing in reducing dental plaque, gingival inflammation, and bleeding on probing in schoolchildren participating in SaludARTE. Study Design: This was a pragmatic cluster randomized intervention, with two parallel branches. Four randomly selected schools participating in SaludARTE (n=200) and one control school, which did not participate in the program (CG) (n=50), were assessed. Clusters were not randomly allocated to intervention. The main outcomes were as follows: mean percentage gingival units with no inflammation, dental surfaces with no dental plaque, and gingival margins with no bleeding. The independent variable was supervised tooth brushing at school once a day after a meal. Guardians and children responded to a questionnaire on sociodemographic and oral hygiene practices, and children were examined dentally. Mean percentage differences were compared (baseline and follow-up). Results: A total of 75% of guardians from the intervention group (IG) and 77% from the CG answered the questionnaire. Of these, 89.3% were women, with a mean age of 36.9±8.5 years. No differences in sociodemographic variables were observed between groups, and 151 children from the IG and 35 from the CG were examined at baseline and follow-up. Mean percentage differences for plaque-free surfaces (8.8±28.5%) and healthy gingival units (23.3%±23.2%) were significantly higher in the IG. Conclusion: The school-supervised tooth brushing program is effective in improving oral hygiene and had a greater impact on plaque and gingivitis than on gingival bleeding. It is necessary to reinforce the oral health education component of the program.


tooth brushing, school program, gingival bleeding, dental plaque, oral health education

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S Aída Borges-Yáñez,Roberto Carlos Castrejón-Pérez,María Esther Irigoyen Camacho. Effect of a School-Based Supervised Tooth Brushing Program In Mexico City: A Cluster Randomized Intervention. Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry. 2017. 41(3);204-213.


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