Self-Reported Changes in Oral Hygiene Habits among Adolescents Receiving Orthodontic Treatment

Dent J (Basel). 2019 Oct 1;7(4):96. doi: 10.3390/dj7040096.


The prevalence of malocclusion and a need for orthodontic treatment is high. Orthodontic appliances increase biofilm accumulation by expanding plaque retention sites. The aim of this study was to investigate the self-reported changes in oral hygiene habits among adolescents receiving orthodontic treatment. A cross-sectional study of 291 patients aged 10-17 years (mean (M) = 12.98; standard deviation (SD) = 2.36) was conducted in the Department of Orthodontics, Lithuanian University of Medical Sciences (LSMU) Hospital (Kaunas, Lithuania) during the fall semester (October-January) of the 2017/2018 study year. An anonymous self-administered questionnaire covered background information, experience of orthodontic treatment, oral hygiene habits and the seeking of professional dental care. Statistical data analysis was performed using SPSS version 22. To establish relationships between categorical variables, Chi-squared tests (χ2) were used. A p-value ≤ 0.05 was set to indicate statistically significant difference. The univariate logistic regression analysis evaluated the probability of an event given a certain risk indicator, including odds ratio (OR) and its confidence interval (95% CI). Associations were found between the usage of auxiliary measures (OR = 1.797 (1.118-2.887), p = 0.015), tongue cleaning (OR = 1.712 (1.059-2.767), p = 0.028), mouth rinsing after meals (OR = 1.707 (1.048-2.781), p = 0.032) and experience of orthodontic treatment, respectively. More orthodontic patients underwent professional oral hygiene regularly than non-orthodontic patients (p = 0.024). More patients with fixed orthodontic appliances reported significantly changed oral hygiene habits, while more orthodontic patients with removable appliances did not change their oral hygiene habits.

Keywords: adolescents; oral hygiene habits; orthodontic treatment.