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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 76-81

Oral health practices and oral hygiene status of undergraduate students at Ile-Ife, Nigeria

1 Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
2 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Oral Pathology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
3 Department of Child Dental Health, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. E O Oyetola
Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njhs.njhs_4_16

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Background: Good oral hygiene is necessary for optimal oral health and sound systemic health. Oral hygiene practices of undergraduates in various disciplines are well documented, but little is known about their oral hygiene status in relation to the oral hygiene practices. Objective: The objective of the present study was to determine the oral hygiene status and practices of undergraduate students at the Obafemi Awolowo Obafemi University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Methods: Demographic details and oral health practice information were obtained from consenting participants using structured, examiner-administered questionnaires. The participants were randomly selected from all the university undergraduate students and examined. Oral hygiene status was determined using simplified Green and Vermilion Oral Hygiene Index (OHI). Data were analysed using STATA 11 statistical software. Results: A total of 150 participants, comprising 78 (52.0%) females and 72 (48.0%) males, participated in the study. The mean (standard deviation) age of the participants was 22.8 (2.7) years with a median age of 23 years. Seventy-three (48.7%) of the 150 participants had good oral hygiene with mean OHI of 0.86 (0.9). Majority (148, 98.7%) of the participants cleaned their teeth with toothpaste and toothbrush. Seventy (46.6%) attended dental care only on account of pain. Faculty of Dentistry had the highest proportion of students with good oral hygiene. Conclusions: Less than 50% of the participants had a good oral hygiene. This was rather not encouraging for undergraduate students. The fact that Faculty of Dentistry had the highest proportion of students with good oral hygiene suggests that long-term exposure to oral health education and knowledge of good oral health practices are important for oral health hygiene. This was supported by the fact that those with longer stay in university had higher proportion of students with oral hygiene.

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