Encouraging Correct Tooth Brushing Habits Among Children in the B40 Community Through Gamification
Dental caries is one of the serious oral health issues among children in Malaysia especially to those with poor access to healthcare services. According to the national survey, caries prevalence among children in Malaysia are still high at the rate of 74.5%. One of the main preventive strategies that can be applied is through a correct tooth brushing habit with effective plaque control. However, to ensure children can sustain a good practice of oral hygiene is difficult. The repetitive actions performed daily could be boring which could lead to ineffectiveness in the way they brush their teeth. There is a substantial body of literature that suggests gamification strategy can be used to motivate children to perform certain serious activities such as to enhance their healthy life. Hence, this paper describes the work done to apply gamification elements in brushing activities. A total of 73 children from the B40 socioeconomic background (divided into control and intervention group) participated in this study. A self-reported diary is used for children in the intervention group to record their brushing sessions and stickers are added for them to indicate their perception of the level of cleanliness of that brushing session. The result suggests that the post-debris index was significantly lower than pre-debris index for children in the intervention group whereas there was no significant difference for the pre and post-debris index in the control group. This indicates that gamification can be applied in encouraging correct tooth brushing habit among children and the lower cost in the production of the physical diary would be affordable for parents in B40 community to use this strategy with their children.
KeywordsGamification Oral health Tooth brushing habits B40 community
The present study was funded and supported by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia through Geran Galakkan Penyelidik Muda (GGPM-2018-046).
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