Oral Hygiene Practices and Status among Orthodontic Patients in a Nigerian Teaching Hospital
Background: Orthodontic treatment is performed to correct occlusal problems and improve the dentofacial complex; however, it comes with
its peculiarities, such that patients require strict adherence to optimum oral hygiene. When oral hygiene is compromised during orthodontic
treatment, accumulation of dental plaque on the appliance can lead to periodontal problems and dental caries.
Aim: To assess the oral hygiene practices and status of orthodontic patients attending the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.
Materials and Methods: Interviewer-administered questionnaires were used to assess the patients attending the orthodontic clinic for their routine appointments. Their oral hygiene status was assessed using the Simplified Oral Hygiene Index by Greene and Vermilion. The data were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS version 21.0).
Results: One hundred and ten subjects (73 females and 37 males) with a female-to-male ratio of 2:1 were recruited for the study. The mean age of the subjects was 20.7 ± 7.89 years. All the subjects used a toothbrush to clean their teeth. Only 22.7% of the subjects brushed their teeth once daily, while 65% of the subjects brushed twice daily and 20% brushed more than twice a day. About 44% had good oral hygiene, 49.1% had fair oral hygiene, while 6.4% had poor oral hygiene. There was no statistically significant difference in the relationship between toothbrushing techniques, frequency of toothbrushing, and oral hygiene status.
Conclusion: All the patients used toothbrush and toothpaste to clean their teeth. Majority of them had acceptable oral hygiene status irrespective of the frequency of toothbrushing.
Keywords: Oral hygiene, practices, status