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Effectiveness of a motivation method on the oral hygiene of children

Type:  Articles

Pubblication date:  /4/2008

Authors:  G.F. Ferrazzano, T. Cantile, G. Sangianantoni, A. Ingenito

Language:  English

Institution:  Department of Paediatric Dentistry University of Naples “FedericoII”, Italy

Publication:  European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry

Publisher:  Ariesdue Srl

Keywords:  Children; Motivation; Oral hygiene; Plaque index; Primary prevention.

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Title:  Effectiveness of a motivation method on the oral hygiene of children

Abstract:  Aim 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. Results 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.

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