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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 486-489

Oral self-care practices among university students in Port Harcourt, Rivers State


Department of Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, College of Health Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Choba Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Braimoh Omoigberai Bashiru
Department of Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, College of Health Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Choba Port Harcourt, Rivers State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0300-1652.144703

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Background: The maintenance of optimum oral health is dependent on the efficacy of oral self-care. The objective of the present study was to evaluate oral self-care practices and knowledge among non-medical students at the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State Nigeria. Materials and Methods: The cross-sectional survey was conducted among undergraduate students at the University of Port Harcourt Nigeria, in January, 2014. Self-administered questionnaire elicited information on demography, frequency of tooth brushing, type of tooth brush, use of dental floss and previous visit to the dentist. Results: A total of 360 young adults, 188 males and 172 females, aged 18-33 years participated in the study. Brushing habits of the study population was at least once a day (90%). Approximately half (52.5 %) of the samples used medium-sized bristles and about 28.8% of the students replaced their toothbrush every 3 months. Regarding oral hygiene aids, few students, 5.8% and 4.2% used dental floss and mouthwash, respectively, as oral cleaning aid. Most of the students (71.6%) had never visited the dentist, 18.1% visited due to dental pain and 8.1% for extraction. Regarding knowledge on oral hygiene practice, approximately 60% of students knew that we have to brush our teeth twice daily, 31% knew we need to visit the dentist twice a year and only 18% knew what was dental floss. Conclusion: Oral hygiene practices among the students were poor. Therefore, oral health education and promotion is required to improve oral hygiene practices and health among young adults and the general population.


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