Practice and problems regarding oral hygiene: study among female medical undergraduate students of tertiary care hospital, Pune, India

Kajal Srivastava, Hetal K Rathod, Parul Sharma, Jitendra S Bhawalkar


Background:As a health provider to community, a doctor should himself be aware of his oral health and undergraduate medical students who are future health professionals should also be well aware of their dental hygiene. Hence with an aim to assess the practice and problems about dental hygiene amongst female medical undergraduate students, this study was planned. Objective of the study was to assess the practices and problems regarding oral hygiene among female undergraduate medical students and efforts taken by them to solve these problems.

Method: A cross-sectional study was undertaken among female undergraduate medical students residing in a hostel of a medical college.

Results: 56.7% girls were using soft tooth brush, 69.3% students change their tooth brush every 6 monthly and 63.3% of them were brushing only once in a day. 79.3% were rinsing teeth after snack or meal. The percentage of students who were using mouth wash and tongue cleaner was 27.3% and 52% respectively. Bad breath was faced by only 9.33% of students, 39.33% were having cavities and 49.33% were having problem of plaque. 25.3% had never visited dentist. Scaling was performed by only 24.7% students and among them only 1.33% did it 6 monthly. It was observed that students using mouth wash 22.2% had significantly less problem of bad breath as compared to students who were not using 6.7%. Significantly larger numbers of students, with problem of cavities were observed to use mouth wash 60% and floss 68% as compared to those who did had this complaint.

Conclusion: The study highlights the fact that preventive behaviour among medical students increased after they experienced some or the other oral health problem for which they were advised to follow these preventive practices so that the severity and extent of the disease does not progress. Further research is required on a larger scale so that the ways to increase the promotive and preventive oral health practices can be identified (e.g. behaviour change communication) to prevent the occurrence of oral health problems.



Oral, Dental, Undergraduate, Female

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