The aim of this study was to determine the influence of an oral hygiene motivation model on removing dental plaque in
57 subjects with an age range from 4 to 16 years, divided into three age categories on the basis of dentition phases, and to analyse the
differences in behaviour between the three age groups and between sexes. MATERIALS AND METHODS Patients were instructed on
how to carry out effective oral hygiene and were examined using the O'Leary plaque index at baseline (t0), 1 week, 1 month and 3
months later. At t0, examiners promised a present to the children if after 1 month they had better level of oral hygiene. After 1 month,
the trainers gave a present to the children that had better level of oral hygiene. No gift was promised for the next visit at 3 months for
evaluating if brushing teeth regularly had become an habit. Statistical analysis of the results was performed using ANOVA.
At t0, the mean O'Leary plaque index was very high; after 1 week, this value had already decreased; after 1 month it slightly decreased;
after 3 months, the mean O'Leary plaque index was still low. DISCUSSION: Children cleaned correctly their teeth both when examiners
promised them a present, and when no gift was promised. Nevertheless, the mean value of the lower index of plaque was recorded
after the first month, showing the children's susceptibility to the prizes. Females had better oral hygiene than males. CONCLUSIONS:
This oral health motivation method was effective in establishing good oral health habits among children.
Vol.9 – n.4/2008
Harvard: G. F. Ferrazzano, T. Cantile, G. Sangianantoni, A. Ingenito (2008) "Effectiveness of a motivation method on the oral hygiene of children", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 9(4), pp183-187. doi:
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