Department of Dental Hygiene, Daewon University College1
Objectives: This study consisted of a literature review on oral health among people with disabilities, and to present the factors that should be considered in developing an oral health program for people with disabilities. Methods: The key words ‘people with disabilities’ and ‘oral health’ were searched in 4 Korean academic journals and 5 online search engines and a total of 635 papers were identified. Duplicate papers were removed, and the literature selection criteria were applied to the remaining papers. Finally, a total of 45 papers were used in the review. Results: First, people with disabilities were the most common research subjects, followed by dental students, dental hygiene students, dentists, dental hygienist and guardians and special education teachers. Second, the most frequently studied research topic was dental examination, followed by oral health behavior and behavior of using dental clinics. Third, research purposes included the status of oral health, the quality of oral health, dental treatment, the use of oral health service, and oral hygiene behavior and perception. Fourth, the most frequently discussed policy task was expansion of research subjects, followed by oral hygiene and policy development. Conclusions: To enhance the oral health of people with disabilities who have difficulty in keeping their teeth clean and healthy on their own, development of an oral hygiene training program is required not only for people with disabilities, but also for guardians and teachers. It is equally important to examine oral health behavior that could potentially affect the status of oral health and create a more accurate and systematic oral hygiene method. In addition, the government, together with various other research institutes, should conduct an oral health survey of a representative sample of people with disabilities to determine oral health status and facilitate improvements to oral hygiene programs.
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