Determinants of good oral hygiene among pregnant women in Ibadan, south-western Nigeria.
Background and objectives: The need to attain and maintain good oral hygiene among pregnant women cannot be over emphasized as periodontal diseases in pregnancy have been linked with poor pregnancy outcomes. This study assessed the variables that affect oral hygiene status among pregnant women in a south-western Nigerian locality. Methodology: Four hundred and five pregnant Nigerian women were assessed for their oral hygiene status using the Oral Hygiene Index-Simplified. Demographic and pregnancy statistics were also obtained and the relationships between these and oral hygiene status were determined. Results: The mean age was 25.35 ± 5.02 years. Most of the women (96.0%) had never visited a dentist or any other oral health care provider and only 12.5% of those who had been attended by dental care givers have ever had professional dental cleaning. The oral hygiene status appeared to worsen as parity increased (p=0.047) while the use of the toothbrush and paste was associated with good oral hygiene (p=0.007). Higher education was associated with use of the tooth brush and paste (p=0.046) and good oral hygiene (p=0.001). Conclusion: The positive effect of education on oral hygiene practices is highlighted in this study. However there is still need for proper health enlightenment in this population with regards to use of the available oral health care facilities.
Keywords: Oral hygiene, Pregnancy, Nigeria.