Poor oral hygiene among 19-year-olds

January 18, 2010

Swedish 19-year-olds need to improve their oral hygiene habits. Seven out of eight adolescents have unacceptable oral hygiene, which increases the risk of future dental problems. These are the findings of a new study from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg.

The results have been published in the Swedish Dental Journal. The study examined 500 randomly selected adolescents from Västra Götaland (Fyrbodal and Skaraborg).

"On average, these adolescents had plaque on half of all tooth surfaces, which is certainly too much. Seven out of eight adolescents had more plaque than is currently deemed acceptable," explains doctoral student Jessica Skoog Ericsson.

Gingivitis was also identified as a common problem resulting from poor oral hygiene. This can generally increase the risk of future dental problems as well as tooth-loosening.

This study shows that the vast majority of adolescents, 76 per cent, brush their teeth at least twice a day. Four per cent of adolescents also use dental floss daily, but just as many don't clean their teeth at all some days.

"There may be some who are less than honest and say that they brush their teeth more regularly than they actually do, but other studies have shown that adolescents do generally brush their teeth on a regular basis. Poor oral hygiene is probably therefore due to them not brushing correctly and not using dental floss," says Kajsa Henning Abrahamsson, a senior lecturer in odontology at the Sahlgrenska Academy.

Oral hygiene was slightly worse among the males in the study, compared with the females. The adolescents from Skaraborg had, on average, less plaque and gingivitis than those in Fyrbodal. However, socioeconomic factors, based on an index for the dental practice to which the adolescents belong in the region, had no impact on adolescents' oral hygiene.

This is not the first scientific study to show poor oral hygiene among Swedish adolescents.

"It is lamentable that so many adolescents have poor oral hygiene despite considerable investment in information and preventive measures. The dental profession as a whole now needs to look at the reasons why we are not getting through better to this group," says Kajsa Henning Abrahamsson.

University of Gothenburg

Related Teeth Articles from Brightsurf:

Astronomers sink their teeth into special supernova
Astronomers using several telescopes at NOIRLab, including the Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) Telescope, have obtained critical data on a particular type of exploding star that produces copious amounts of calcium.

Researchers discover biomarkers of ALS in teeth
Mount Sinai scientists have identified biological markers present in childhood that relate to the degenerative and often fatal neurological disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, according to a study published in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology in May.

Brush your teeth to protect the heart
Brushing teeth frequently is linked with lower risks of atrial fibrillation and heart failure, according to a study published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

Piranha fish swap old teeth for new simultaneously
With the help of new technologies, a team led by the University of Washington has confirmed that piranhas lose and regrow all the teeth on one side of their face multiple times throughout their lives.

What wolves' teeth reveal about their lives
UCLA biologist discovers what wolves' broken teeth reveal about their lives.

These pink sea urchins have teeth that sharpen themselves
Sea urchins have five teeth, each held by a separate jaw in a circular arrangement at the center of their spiked, spherical bodies.

The secret strength of gnashing teeth
There's a method to finite element modeling for materials microarchitecture to make super strong glass.

No teeth cleaning needed: Crocodiles shed old teeth, grow new ones
Having one of the most powerful bites in the animal kingdom, crocodiles must be able to bite hard to eat their food such as turtles, wildebeest and other large prey.

Why deep-sea dragonfish have transparent teeth
Off the coast of San Diego, 500 meters under the sea, pencil-sized sea monsters grin pitch-black smiles because their mouths are filled with transparent teeth.

Brush your teeth -- postpone Alzheimer's
Researchers at the University of Bergen in Norway have discovered a clear connection between oral health and Alzheimer┬┤s disease.

Read More: Teeth News and Teeth Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.