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Evaluation of the Ability of Five- to 11-Year-Olds to Brush Their Teeth Effectively with Manual and Electric Toothbrushing

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Abstract: Purpose: This study's purposes were to: (1) correlate toothbrushing effectiveness measured by plaque removal with children's parent- reported ability to perform life tasks and their executive function; and (2) compare plaque removal by children using a manual versus electric toothbrush. Methods: A convenience sample of 120 healthy five- to 11-year-olds was randomly and evenly assigned to manual or electric tooth- brush groups. A questionnaire was developed from items selected from previously validated social science instruments and completed by caregivers. Plaque was measured by calibrated scorers using the Oral Hygiene Index-Simplified before and after children brushed with respective toothbrushes. Statistical significance was established at P<0.05. Results: The type of toothbrush had no effect on brushing effectiveness. Ability to write a complete address, tie shoes independently, cut meat with a knife, and cut out complex shapes were associated with better toothbrushing effectiveness. Increasing ability to play a musical instrument and wash dishes independently were associated with increased plaque removal. Parents were good predictors of a child's readiness to brush, based on plaque removal scores. Conclusions: Certain life skills and quality of performance of tasks were associated with toothbrushing effectiveness in five- to 11-year-olds and may be used to determine a child's readiness to brush independently.
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Keywords: ORAL HYGIENE; PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY; PLAQUE; TOOTH BRUSHING

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Dr. Kher is a dentist in private practice in Goodyear, Ariz., USA. 2: Dr. Claman is a clinical assistant professor, all at the Division of Pediatric Dentistry at the Ohio State College of Dentistry, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA;, Email: [email protected] 3: Dr. Amini is a clinical professor, all at the Division of Pediatric Dentistry at the Ohio State College of Dentistry, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA. 4: Ms. Alexy is a biostatistician, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, USA. 5: Dr. Kumar is a clinical professor, all at the Division of Pediatric Dentistry at the Ohio State College of Dentistry, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA. 6: Dr. Casamassimo is Professor Emeritus, all at the Division of Pediatric Dentistry at the Ohio State College of Dentistry, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA.

Publication date: January 1, 2019

More about this publication?
  • Pediatric Dentistry is the official publication of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. It is published bi-monthly and is internationally recognized as the leading journal in the area of pediatric dentistry. The journal promotes the practice, education and research specifically related to the specialty of pediatric dentistry. This peer-reviewed journal features scientific articles, case reports and abstracts of current pediatric dental research.
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