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Tooth brushing, tongue cleaning and snacking behaviour of dental technology and therapist students

CC Azodo
AO Ehizele
A Umoh
PI Ojehanon
O Akhionbare
R Okechukwu
L Igbinosa


Objective: To determine the tooth brushing, tongue cleaning and snacking behaviour of dental technology and therapist students. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study of students of Federal School of Dental Therapy and Technology Enugu, Nigeria. Self-administered questionnaire was used to obtain information on demography, frequency, duration and technique of tooth brushing and tongue cleaning as well as information on consumption of snacks. Results: A total of 242 students responded. Dental technology students made up 52.5% of the respondents and dental therapist in training made up 47.5%. Majority (63.2%) of the respondents considered the strength of tooth brush when purchasing a tooth brush and 78.9% use tooth brushes with medium strength. Sevententh (71.9%) of the respondents brush their teeth twice daily and 52.1% brush for 3-5 minutes. About onethird (30.2%) brush their teeth in front of a mirror. Chewing stick was used by 51.7% of respondents in addition to the use of tooth brush. Tongue cleaning was done by 94.2% with only 9.5% using a tongue cleaner. Only 20.2% reported regular snacks consumption. Nine-tenth (90.4%) of respondents were previously involved in educating others, apart from their colleagues, on tooth brushing. Conclusion: This survey revealed that most of the dental therapy and technology students had satisfactory tooth-brushing behaviour. The zeal to educate others about proper tooth brushing revealed in this study suggests that the students may be helpful in oral health promotion.

Keywords: toothbrushing; tongue cleaning; snacking behaviour; dental auxiliary students; Nigeria