Knowledge, attitude towards and practice of oral hygiene among antenatal clinic attendees in public secondary health facilities in Benin City, Nigeria
Introduction: Oral hygiene involves the prevention of oral diseases which have been found to be common in pregnancy. Dental care in pregnancy aims at achieving healthy oral environment. This study assessed the knowledge, attitude towards and practice of oral hygiene among antenatal clinic attendees in public secondary health facilities in Benin City, Nigeria.
Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among antenatal clinic clients in the two state-owned secondary health facilities in Benin City. Respondents were selected using a two-staged sampling technique. A structured, interviewer-administered questionnaire was utilized for data collection. Data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Scientific Solutions. Test statistics was done using chi-square test.
Results: The mean age of respondents was 29.3± 4.7 years, with 39.1% in the age group of 25-29 years. Majority of respondents, 228 (83.2%) were aware of oral hygiene. Also, 272 (99.3%) practiced tooth brushing while 43 (15.7%) used dental floss. Halitosis was identified as a form of poor oral hygiene by 177 (77.6%) of the respondents. More than half 54.4% of the women had poor knowledge of oral hygiene. The associations between their knowledge and attitude towards oral hygiene and the practice of oral hygiene were statistically significant (p < 0.001).
Conclusion: Though the respondents had poor knowledge of oral hygiene, there was a positive attitude and good practice of oral hygiene. There is a need for education on oral hygiene to antenal clinic attendees as a means of improving knowledge and preventing oral pathologies in pregnancy.
Keywords: Oral hygiene, pregnant women, antenatal clinic, secondary health facilities