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Int Dent J. 2000;Suppl Creating A Successful:304-11.

Patient compliance with oral hygiene regimens: a behavioural self-regulation analysis with implications for technology.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Dentistry, University of Washington, Box #357136, Seattle, WA 98195-7136, USA. ramsay@u.washington.edu


Achieving optimal oral health through preventive efforts is a hallmark of the dental profession. A primary goal of a preventively-oriented dental practice is to encourage patients to practice appropriate oral self-care behaviours. When patients are asked to follow an oral self-care regimen, they are being given a target or goal (for example, brush twice a day) and their task is to control or regulate their behaviour to achieve that objective. Unfortunately, patients often fail to meet the expectations set forth by the clinical recommendation. This review examines the problem of poor patient compliance with oral hygiene regimens by applying the general principles that govern the self-regulation of behaviour. The component parts of a behavioural self-regulation model are reviewed in the context of oral self-care. Research in the area of toothbrushing behaviour is reviewed and methods for providing patients with feedback about their degree of compliance are discussed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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