Improving oral health: current considerations

J Clin Periodontol. 2003;30 Suppl 5:4-6. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-051x.30.s5.2.x.


The high incidence of periodontal disease among adults in the Western world indicates that in most cases, routine dental care could be considerably improved. The progressive effect of the disease suggests that improvements in oral cleanliness are mandatory if large numbers of adults are to retain their teeth into old age. Data show that periodontal disease can be minimized through effective plaque control, and that a combination of brushing, interdental cleaning, and chemotherapeutic agents (e.g. mouthwash) is beneficial to patients with plaque control problems. The vast majority of adults do not follow an adequate home-care routine. Average brushing times are low, and only a minority of patients regularly floss. In addition, in those patients who do regularly brush and floss, a deterioration of plaque control occurs over time, suggesting that compliance is a major issue. The principal challenge for dental professionals is to identify how best to elicit an improvement.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dental Devices, Home Care
  • Dental Plaque / prevention & control
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Mouthwashes / therapeutic use
  • Oral Health*
  • Oral Hygiene*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Periodontal Diseases / prevention & control
  • Toothbrushing


  • Mouthwashes