The study determined the overall oral health condition of the college students in Benguet State University. It also determined the differences of oral hygiene, food consumed and dental consultations when grouped according to gender, year level and monthly family income. Survey questionnaire and face to face interviews were utilized to gather data from the 284 randomly selected students. The data collected were subjected to frequency, percentage, weighted mean and Chi-square foe statistical analysis.
The findings of the study revealed that the oral health condition of college students is in average state which means that their oral health is in normal level wherein mostly conform on the widely known normal health practices such as brushing teeth at least two to three times a day, utilizing the basic commodities such as toothbrush, toothpaste and water, having dental consultation at least twice a year. However, they still encounter problems in terms of oral hygiene, random technique in brushing is utilized by the respondents. Data showed that betel not chewing is being practice by a considerable number of students because of certain factors such as influences of friends and classmates due to curiosity and the common belief that it will strengthen their teeth. Similarly, cigarette smoking is also practiced among few students and they usually consume 1-5 sticks a day. In terms of food consumed, it was found out that sweet foods, acidic beverages, and alcohol intake are still practiced. On the other hand, there are several factors which affect their consultation to dental clinic such as preferred female dentist, time due to full class schedule, less prioritized, more comfortable with their own dentist, no idea on how to avail and embarrassment due to teeth appearance.
When grouped according to gender and socio-economic status, it revealed that there is a difference in the oral health practices of students but no difference across year level. When it comes to gender, male students frequently practice betel nut chewing and smoking compared to females. Females also tend to seek dental consultation more often than males. With regards to socioeconomic status, household income affects their preferences on oral hygiene such as materials used in cleaning teeth. This means that the higher the income, the use of dental floss and mouthwash is used among others. As to dental consultation, respondents all agree that they prefer female dentist and that in practice they avail private health care facilities.
Based from the findings it is recommended that there should be an improvement of the services at the BSU dental clinic like to include a female dentist in the dental clinic. Survey and monitoring regarding the oral health of the students and employees in the University must be implemented by the dentist and other health care provider. Students must be well informed about the free dental services offered at the BSU dental clinic. Furthermore, school (George, 2012)canteens in BSU including the school marketing should include more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in the foods serve, a shift to low-fat or nonfat milk, and should limit on calories, sodium, and unhealthy fats. Lastly, dental clearance and monitoring should not only be done during the enrollment of incoming first years but every enrollment.