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Systematic Reviews

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Effect of game-based teaching on the oral health of children: a systematic review of randomised control trials

  • Shankargouda Patil1,*,
  • Frank W Licari1
  • Shilpa Bhandi1
  • Kamran H Awan1
  • Marco Di Blasio2,*,
  • Gaetano Isola3
  • Marco Cicciù3
  • Giuseppe Minervini4,5

1College of Dental Medicine, Roseman University of Health Sciences, South Jordan, UT 84095, USA

2Department of Biomedical Surgical and Dental Sciences, University of Milan, 20126 Milan, Italy

3Department of General Surgery and Surgical-Medical Specialties, School of Dentistry, University of Catania, 95124 Catania, Italy

4Saveetha Dental College & Hospitals, Saveetha Institute of Medical & Technical Sciences, Saveetha University, 600077 Chennai, India

5Multidisciplinary Department of Medical-Surgical and Dental Specialties, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, 80138 Naples, Italy

DOI: 10.22514/jocpd.2024.075 Vol.48,Issue 4,July 2024 pp.26-37

Submitted: 02 June 2023 Accepted: 18 July 2023

Published: 03 July 2024

*Corresponding Author(s): Shankargouda Patil E-mail:
*Corresponding Author(s): Marco Di Blasio E-mail:


Poor oral health during childhood can lead to various oral diseases and have long-term implications for dental health. Innovative and engaging oral health educational approaches such as game-based teaching have emerged as a promising modality for health education. This systematic review examined the effectiveness of game-based teaching methods on the oral health of children (4–12 yrs). Scopus, Medline and Web of Science databases were searched according to specific inclusion and exclusion criteria. Inclusion criteria included randomised trials that compared traditional methods of oral health education with game-based interventions in preschoolers and school-age children. The quality of the data was determined using Cochrane risk-of-bias tool for randomized trials (ROB-2). A total of seven studies that examined 1097 children (4–12 yrs) were included in this systematic review with the association of game-based teaching of oral health. The findings indicated that the utilization of game-based methods significantly improved children’s oral health outcomes when compared to traditional teaching approaches. Specifically, the game-based interventions demonstrated positive effects on various aspects of oral health, including enhanced oral health knowledge, improved oral hygiene scores, and reductions in debris and plaque scores. The game-based interventions were found to be more effective in promoting oral health when compared to conventional methods of teaching, such as verbal instructions or educational posters. Based on the limited evidence available, game-based teaching appears to be an effective approach for promoting oral health among children, consistently demonstrating positive outcomes, including improved oral health knowledge, enhanced oral hygiene scores, and reductions in debris and plaque scores. Further well-designed trials adhering to reporting guidelines and using objective measures are necessary before outlining universal guidelines for best practice.


Children; Education; Game-based; Oral health; School-age

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Shankargouda Patil,Frank W Licari,Shilpa Bhandi,Kamran H Awan,Marco Di Blasio,Gaetano Isola,Marco Cicciù,Giuseppe Minervini. Effect of game-based teaching on the oral health of children: a systematic review of randomised control trials. Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry. 2024. 48(4);26-37.


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