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Open Access

Exploring Malaysian schoolchildren's perception of the advantages and disadvantages of the ToothPoly board game: a qualitative study

  • Nor Fatimah Syahraz Abdul Razakek1,2
  • Zamros Yuzadi Mohd Yusof2
  • Farrah Dina Yusop3
  • Unaizah Hanum Obaidellah4
  • Amirrudin Kamsin5
  • Nor Azlida Mohd Nor2,*,

1Oral Health Program, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Federal Government Administrative Centre, 62590 Putrajaya, Malaysia

2Department of Community Oral Health & Clinical Prevention, Faculty of Dentistry, Universiti Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

3Department of Curriculum and Instructional Technology, Faculty of Education, Universiti Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

4Department of Artificial Intelligence, Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology, Universiti Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 5Department of Computer System & Technology, Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology, Universiti Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

DOI: 10.22514/jocpd.2023.096 Vol.48,Issue 1,January 2024 pp.101-110

Submitted: 01 May 2023 Accepted: 02 June 2023

Published: 03 January 2024

*Corresponding Author(s): Nor Azlida Mohd Nor E-mail:


The effectiveness of children’s oral health education (OHE) is determined by the appropriateness of the educational materials used, which can influence their attitude towards oral health. However, there is a lack of studies exploring the benefits of OHE materials from the perspective of schoolchildren. This study aimed to explore schoolchildren’s opinions on the newly developed ToothPoly board game as an OHE tool. A qualitative approach using focus group discussions (FGDs) was conducted among 44 schoolchildren aged 12 years old from a public school in Malaysia. Convenience sampling was employed to recruit the schoolchildren. The ToothPoly board game was playtested and FGDs were conducted after the playtesting session ended. Data collection and analyses were performed concurrently until data saturation was reached. The data were transcribed and coded using Atlas.Ti software version 9.1.3 followed by the framework method analysis. Mixed opinions were observed among the schoolchildren with a majority expressing favourable opinions on the advantages of the ToothPoly board game as an OHE tool. Five themes emerged from the advantages aspect, i.e., fun and enjoyable, promote focus, attention and oral health-related learning, attractive board game features, and enhance peer interaction. Meanwhile, two themes emerged that were related to the disadvantages of the board game, i.e., “competition with online games and media” and “not practical for a large group activity”. The findings showed that the ToothPoly board game was perceived as a useful, interactive, and enjoyable tool to learn about oral health in small groups. The findings of the study highlight the importance of tailoring OHE activities to fulfil the needs of specific target groups to ensure its acceptance and future success.


Dental health education; Oral health; Children; Pediatric dentistry

Cite and Share

Nor Fatimah Syahraz Abdul Razakek,Zamros Yuzadi Mohd Yusof,Farrah Dina Yusop,Unaizah Hanum Obaidellah,Amirrudin Kamsin,Nor Azlida Mohd Nor. Exploring Malaysian schoolchildren's perception of the advantages and disadvantages of the ToothPoly board game: a qualitative study. Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry. 2024. 48(1);101-110.


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