Perceived oral health, oral self-care habits and dental attendance among pregnant women in Benin-City, Nigeria

  • CC Azodo
  • VO Omuemu


Objective: To assess the perceived oral health, oral self-care habits, dental visit and self-reported oral health problems among pregnant women in Benin-City, Nigeria. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic of University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Nigeria. An interviewer-administered questionnaire, containing open and closed questions was used for data collection.

Results: The majority of the respondents (81.7%) rated their oral health as excellent/good using the global oral health rating scale. Seventy one percent of the respondents did not change their oral self-care during pregnancy. Twice-daily tooth cleaning or more was reported by 56.9% of the respondents. Medium texture toothbrush was reported by 156 (39.6%) while 1-3 minutes tooth brushing duration was reported by 160 (40.6%) of the respondents respectively. A total of 78 (19.8%) of the respondents had visited the dentist. More than one-third 138 (35.0%) of the respondents have experienced oral health problem and 64 (46.4%) and 28 (13.0%) of them had tooth decay and halitosis respectively. Identified reasons for not visiting a dentist were; no dental problem 250 (63.5%), no time 38 (9.6%), no money 28 (7.1%) fear of dentist 14 (3.6%) and non-availability of dental clinic 10 (2.5%). Conclusion: Over 50% reported to brush their teeth twice or more daily. All participants reported to brush for more than one minute. One third reported to have had oral health problem and about 20% had visited a dentist. More than 80% considered themselves to have excellent or good oral health status. Professional oral care of pregnant women should be included in the free maternal services to improve oral health of pregnant women.

Keywords: tooth brushing, oral health problem, barriers, pregnant women

Running title: Oral health problem and oral health practices


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eISSN: 0856-0625