Oral hygiene practice among general outpatients in a tertiary hospital in North Central Nigeria


Department of Dental and Maxillofacial Surgery University of Abuja
Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Abuja, Nigeria.
Aim: To assess oral hygiene practices in patients attending the General Outpatient Department (GOPD) of the
University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Abuja.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross sectional study of patients attending the GOPD of University of Abuja
Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Abuja, Nigeria. A semi structured pretested questionnaire was administered to
416 consecutively recruited adult patients that consented to participate in the study. Data collected were analyzed
using SPSS version 23.
Results: The age ranged from 18 to 60 years with the mean age being 33.22 years (SD = 10.11). About 55% of the
participants were females while 45.4% were males. Most (98.6%) of the respondents used toothbrush to clean
their teeth and 62.0% brush their teeth twice a day. Only very few (1.7%) used dental floss to clean the interdental
area while most respondents (92.1%) used toothpicks.. Half of the respondents brush for over 3 minutes.
Irrespective of age groups or gender, most of our respondents (64.2%) preferred soft brush while and 28.1%
preferred hard toothbrush. Just a little above half of our respondents (52.2%) preferred using tooth brush with big
head while 40.1% preferred brushes with small head. While a very good number (at least 93.9%) replace their
toothbrushes within 6 months. only one hundred and forty (33.7%) of our respondents had ever visited dentist
while fifty-five (13.2%) did so within the past 12 months.
Conclusion: The oral hygiene practice among our study population was fairly good but need to be reinforced
through various oral health education programs and outreaches with more emphasis on the use of dental floss and
importance of regular visit to the dentist.
Key words: Oral hygiene practice, tooth brushing, dental floss, dental visits
Objectif: Évaluer les pratiques d’hygiène bucco-dentaire chez les patients fréquentant le département général de
consultations externes (GOPD) de l’hôpital universitaire de l’Université d’Abuja, Gwagwalada, Abuja.
Matériel et méthodes: Il s’agissait d’une étude transversale de patients fréquentant le GOPD de l’hôpital
universitaire de l’Université d’Abuja, Gwagwalada, Abuja, Nigéria. Un questionnaire pré-testé semi-structuré a
été administré à 416 patients adultes recrutés consécutivement qui ont consenti à participer à l’étude. Les données
collectées ont été analysées à l’aide de la version 23 de SPSS.
Résultats: L’âge variait de 18 à 60 ans, l’âge moyen étant de 33,22 ans (ET = 10,11). Environ 55% des
participants étaient des femmes tandis que 45,4% étaient des hommes. La plupart (98,6%) des répondants
utilisaient une brosse à dents pour se nettoyer les dents et 62,0% se brossaient les dents deux fois par jour. Seuls
très peu (1,7%) utilisaient du fil dentaire pour nettoyer la zone interdentaire tandis que la plupart des répondants
(92,1%) utilisaient des cure-dents. La moitié des répondants se brossent les dents pendant plus de 3 minutes.
Quels que soient les groupes d’âge ou le sexe, la plupart de nos répondants (64,2%) préféraient une brosse douce
tandis que 28,1% préféraient une brosse à dents dure. Un peu plus de la moitié de nos répondants (52,2%)
préféraient utiliser une brosse à dents à grosse tête tandis que 40,1% préféraient des brosses à petite tête. Alors
qu’un très bon nombre (au moins 93,9%) remplacent leurs brosses à dents dans les 6 mois. seulement cent
quarante (33,7%) de nos répondants avaient déjà consulté un dentiste alors que cinquante-cinq (13,2%) l’ont fait
au cours des 12 derniers mois.
Conclusion: La pratique de l’hygiène bucco-dentaire au sein de notre population d’étude était assez bonne, mais
doit être renforcée par divers programmes d’éducation en santé bucco-dentaire et des activités de sensibilisation
mettant davantage l’accent sur l’utilisation de la soie dentaire et l’importance d’une visite régulière chez le
Mots clés: Pratique d’hygiène bucco-dentaire, brossage des dents, soie dentaire, visites dentaires
Correspondence: Dr. J.O. Ajayi, Department of Dental and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital,
Gwagwalada, Abuja. E mail: drjoajayi@yahoo.com



Padmini DB, Thangaraj S, Ranganath TS and Ambiger N. A cross sectional study to assess the oral health knowledge, attitude and practice among school children in rural field practice area of Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Bengaluru. Int J Community Med Public Health. 2018;5:5385-5391.

Petersen PE. Challenges to improvement of oral health in the 21st century – the approach of the WHO Global Oral Health Programme. Int Dent J. 2004; 54(suppl 1):329–343.

Frencken JE, Holmgren CJ and Helderman WHP: [Online]. Basic package of oral care. 2002. Available at: <http://www.chdentalinstitute.org/images/ BPOC.pdf>. Accessed on 14th May.

Davies RM, Davies GM and Ellwood RP. Prevention. Part 4:tooth brushing: what advise should be given to patients? Brit Dent J. 2003;195(3):135-141

(FDI) World Dental Federation: Report of the global oral health planning workshop; 2003.

Petersen PE and Kwan S. Evaluation of community-based oral health promotion and oral disease prevention – WHO recommendations for improved evidence in public health practice. Community Dent Health. 2004; 21(suppl):319–329.

Ainamo J, Parviainen K. Occurrence of plaque, gingivitis and caries as related to self- reported frequency of toothbrushing in fluoride areas in Finland. Commun Dent Oral Epidemio. 1979; 7:142–146.

Adeniyi AA, Sofola OO and Kalliecharan RV. An appraisal of the oral health system in Nigeria. Int Dent J. 2012; 62(6):292–300.

Akpata ES. Oral health in Nigeria. Int Dent J. 2004; 54(6 Suppl 1):361–366.

Federal Ministry of Health: National Oral Health Policy. Abuja: FMOH; 2012.

Adegbembo AO and Nadeef MA. National survey of periodontal status and treatment needs among Nigerians. Int Dent J. 1998; 48(1):44–49.

Abiola A, Agbaje O, Braimoh M, et al. A Survey of the Oral Health Knowledge and Practices of Pregnant Women in a Nigerian Teaching Hospital. African Journal of Reproductive Health December 2011; 15(4): 14-19

Walsh MM. Effects of school based dental health education on knowledge, attitudes and behavior of adolescents in San Francisco. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 1985;13:143 147.

Ali NS, Khan M, Butt M and Riaz S. Implications of practices and perception on oral hygiene in patients attending a tertiary care hospital. J Pak Dent Assoc 2012;1:20 30.

Younus A and Qureshi A. Tooth brush changing frequency and associated sociodemographic and oral hygiene factors among residents of Karachi. J Dent Oral Hyg. 2016;8:4 11.

Aliyu l, Micheal GC,Teslim LO and Ibrahim ZF. Oral hygiene practice among patients seen in the general outpatient clinic of a tertiary health center.SRM J Res Dent Sci. 2017;8:152-156.

Jiang H, Petersen PE, Peng B, Tai B and Bian Z. Self assessed dental health, oral health practices, and general health behaviors in Chinese urban adolescents. Acta Odontol Scand. 2005; 63(6):343 352.

Al Shammari KF, Al Ansari JM, Al Khabbaz AK, Dashti A and Honkala EJ. Self-reported oral hygiene habits and oral healths and oral health problem of Kuwaiti adults.Med princ 2007;16(1):15-21.

Jain N, Mitra D, Ashok KP, Dundappa.J, Soni S and Ahmed S. Oral hygiene-awareness and practice among patients attending OPD at Vyas Dental college and Hospital Jodhpur. J Indian soc Periodontol 2012:15:524-528.

Zhu L, Petersen PE, Wang HY, Bian JY and Zhang BX. Oral health knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of adults in China. Int Dent J. 2005;55:231-241.

Nagarajappa R,Sahare P, Shkla N, Tuteja JS and Bhalla A. Knowledge,Attitude and practices Regarding Oral health among Out patients at Rama Dental College, Kanpur..Rama Univ J Dent Sci. 2015 Mar;2(1):8-14.

Ogunrinde TJ, Oyewole OE and Dosumu OO. Dental care knowledge and practices among secondary school adolescents in Ibadan North Local Government Areas of Oyo State, Nigeria. Eur J Gen Dent. 2015;4:68-73.

Al Omiri MK, Al Wahadni AM and Saeed KN. Oral health attitudes, knowledge, and behavior among school children in North Jordan. J Dent Educ. 2006;70:179 187.

Rajapakse PS, McCracken GI, Gwynnett E, et al. Does tooth brushing influence the development and progression of non inflammatory gingival recession? A systematic review. J Clin Periodontol. 2007;34:1046 1061.

Ogba OM, Ewa JJ, Olorode OA and Mbah M. Effects of Tobacco Smoking on Oral Microflora and the relationship with Oral Health in Calabar, Nigeria. Int J Biomed Lab Sc (UBLS). 2017;6(1 and 2):1-5

Azudo CC and Unamatokpa B. Gender difference in oral health perception and practices amonge medical House officers. Russians Open Med J. 2012;1:1-4.

American Dental Association. Toothbrush Care: Cleaning, Storing and Replacement. Available from:http://www.ada.org/en/aboutthe ada/ada positions policies and statements/statement ontoothbrush care cleaning storage and replacement. [Last accessed on 2017 Mar 12].

Gopikrishna V, Bhaskar NN, Kulkarni SB, Jacob J and Sourabha KG. Knowledge, attitude, and practices of oral hygiene among college students in Bengaluru city. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent. 2016;14:75-79.

Jamjoom HM. Preventive oral health knowledge and practice in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. J KAU Med Sci. 2001;9:17 25.

Hamilton ME, Coulby WM. Oral health knowledge and habits of senior elementary school students. J Public Dent Health. 1991;51:212 219.

Adekoya Sofowora CA, Nasir WO, Oginni AO, Taiwo M. Dental caries in 12 year old suburban Nigerian school children. Afr Health Sci. 2006;6:145 150.

Ajayi DM, Arigbede AO. Barriers to oral health care utilization in Ibadan, South West Nigeria. Afr Health Sci. 2012;12:507 513.

Olusile A O. Improving low awareness and inadequate access to oral health care in Nigeria: The role of dentists, the government & non-governmental agencies. Niger Med J. 2010;51:134-136