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Oral Health & Preventive Dentistry

Edited by Prof. Dr. Jean-François Roulet, Prof. Dr. Dr. Niklaus P. Lang, Prof. Dr. Palle Holmstrup

Official journal of the Academy of Minimally Invasive Dentistry, the World Congress of Microdentistry, and the European Society of Preventive Dentistry

ISSN (print) 1602-1622 • ISSN (online) 1757-9996


Fall 2007
Volume 5 , Issue 3

Pages: 193-199
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Professional Guidance on and Self-assessed Knowledge of Oral Self-care as Reported by Dentate Elderly Patients in Lithuania

Vysniauskaitč, Sonata / Vehkalahti, Miira M.

Purpose: To investigate the sources of information on oral self-care and the content of professional guidance received on it as reported by dentate elderly patients in Lithuania, and to relate such guidance to their self-assessed knowledge of oral self-care. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire study was carried out at two public dental offices, among dentate patients aged ≥60. In total, 174 dentate elderly responded; mean age was 69.2 years (SD = 6.6). The self-administered questionnaire covered sources of information on and self-assessed knowledge of oral self-care, and the content of professional guidance received. Age, gender, education, and number of teeth served as background information. Statistical evaluation was by Chi-square test, correlation analysis, ANOVA, and logistic regression. Results: Most of the elderly (82%) named the dentist as the source of information. For the professional dental guidance received, 53% of our elderly reported being told how to brush, and 31% how to floss their teeth. Furthermore, 44% assessed their knowledge of oral self-care as poor, 22% as moderate, and 34% as good. At least a moderate level of knowledge of oral self-care was associated with a greater extent of professional guidance (OR 1.3; 95% CI 1.2–1.5; p < 0.001), a better dental state (OR 1.9; 95% CI 1.1–3.2; p = 0.03), and a higher level of education (OR 1.9; 95% CI 1.0–3.5; p = 0.04) in the logistic regression model, controlling for background information. Conclusions: To increase the awareness of oral self-care among the elderly, dentists play an important role as providers of versatile and regular professional guidance.

Keywords: dentate elderly, knowledge of oral self-care, Lithuania, oral health education

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