The best efforts of dentists don’t always mean people will look after their teeth, British researchers have found.
A study by a team at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne discovered that only up to one-third of gum disease patients, who received advice on how long to brush their teeth, followed it to the letter. Yet the same people perceived their brushing habits to be better than they were – a finding which has major implications for dentists wishing to change their patients’ behaviour.
Gum disease can eventually lead to multiple tooth loss, but in many cases damage can be stabilised or reversed if treatment is combined with a good home toothcare regime. For the study, patients were given advice on a regime – which in particular said they should brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. Each of the 17 study participants used an electronic ‘data logger’ powered toothbrush that recorded brushing time. The brush had a light on the handle that flashed when two minutes had elapsed. They were also asked to fill in diaries detailing their brushing habits. The experiment recorded brushing times for two periods of four weeks.
Claire Jordan | alfa
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