Introduction: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental disorder that causes difficulty in communicating and socializing. The limitations of communication result in the inability to conduct teeth brush training and lead to poor oral health which might cause tooth decay and pain. This study aims to evaluate the relationship between teeth brushing habits and tooth pain experienced in children with ASD.
Methods: This study used an analytic observational study with a cross-sectional design. The subjects of the study were selected randomly using a cluster sampling method to children with ASD at Specialize School for Disability /Sekolah Luar Biasa (SLB); SLB Bina Anggita, SLB Citra Mulia Mandiri, SLB Dharma Rena Ring Putra II, SLB Negeri 1 Bantul, SLB Samara Bunda, and SLB Tegar Harapan. The data about teeth brushing habits and tooth pain experience were measured by a questionnaire filled out by parents and caregivers and then analyzed using SPSS ver. 23.
Results: This study involved 40 children with ASD, with 30 (75%) were boys and 10 (25%) were girls. The age range were between 6-12 years (23 children; 57.5%), and 13-18 years (17 children; 42.5%). Most children report medium pain in tooth pain (16 children; 40%). The Spearman's test showed a significant inverse correlation between the teeth cleaning habits and the tooth pain experienced (r = -0.464; p=0,003).
Conclusion: There was a significant relationship between the teeth brushing habits and the tooth pain experienced in children with ASD in Specialized schools in Yogyakarta.