Main Article Content
Method:A self-administered questionnaire was utilised to assess oral health knowledge, attitude and practices among 46 orthodontic patients consisting of 18 males (39.1%) and 28 females (60.9%) with a mean age of 18.4 ± 7.6 years who were on active fixed orthodontic appliances at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital Dental Centre, Benin City, Nigeria.
Results: Most of the patients (93.5%) shown oral health awareness. However, only slightly above one third (37.0%) of the patients knew that orthodontic appliances can predispose an individual with poor oral hygiene to dental caries and periodontal diseases.89.1% of the patients knew that tooth brushing could prevent tooth decay and gum diseases while 73.9 %were aware that fluoride containing toothpaste could help in prevention of tooth decay. 60.9% of the patients brushed their teeth twice a day and 52.2% often changed their tooth brushes every 3 months. 47.8% utilised mouthwashes and 4.3% used dental floss and interdental brushes as additional cleaning aids.Occasionally receipt of scaling and polishing after onset of orthodontic treatment was reported by 28.3%. 30.4% of the patients reported swollen / bleeding gum occasionally after the onset of orthodontic treatment.
Conclusions: This study revealed a satisfactory oral health knowledge among this sample of Nigerian orthodontic patients. Further education on methods of plaque control and compliance with oral hygiene instructions are to be continually emphasized for orthodontic patients.
Key words: Oral health, malocclusion, orthodontic patients, oral health knowledge, practice