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Oral Health Prev Dent. 2017;15(4):347-355. doi: 10.3290/j.ohpd.a38741.

Oral Health Behaviour and Oral Hygiene of Dental Professionals and Laypersons - A Survey Performed in Lower Saxony, Germany.



The aim of this survey-based cross-sectional study was to analyse the oral health behaviour of dental professionals and persons without professional dental knowledge (layperson group) regarding the use and selection of tools for their personal dental hygiene.


A total of 356 persons participated in the survey (dental professional group: 160; layperson group: 196). Information regarding dental hygiene habits, such as toothbrush use, toothbrushing habits, and the use of additional dental hygiene tools was determined using a standardised questionnaire. Data were analysed using the chi-squared and Wilcoxon tests, with significance set at p < 0.05.


93% of the dental professional group and 89% of layperson group used manual toothbrushes (p = 0.03). Power toothbrushes were used by 57% of those surveyed in the dental professional group and 37% of those in the layperson group (p < 0.01). In the dental professional group, the duration of toothbrushing was significantly longer and it was performed more often compared to layperson group (p < 0.001). The use of dental floss and interdental brushes in the layperson group (dental floss 38%, interdental brush 5%) was considerably lower than in the dental professional group (dental floss 84%, interdental brush 11%; p < 0.001).


The results of the survey on oral health behaviour revealed significant differences between the groups. The acceptance of additional tools for personal dental hygiene was low, such as dental floss and interdental brushes. Given the great importance of these tools for biofilm control, they should be emphasised in motivational measures and instructions regarding oral care performed at home.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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