Introduction: Dental care is sometimes generally underestimated by people due to lack of awareness or sometimes due to busy life. Increase in periodontal problem is noticed in Indian population due to negligence. So, importance of dental care is always underestimated; at the same time, the need for regular dental visit and reinforcement or oral health education cannot be neglected.

Aim: To assess oral hygiene awareness and practices among patients attending the outpatient department (OPD) at Dental College, Lucknow, India.

Materials and methods: A total of 281 patients attending the OPD at Dental College, Lucknow, India, were selected for the study. The samples selected were aged between 16 and 90 years. A self-constructed questionnaire was prepared and presented to the patients. Choices of questions were based on knowledge, attitude, and practices regarding oral health, such as type of brush used, frequency of brushing, reason of changing toothbrush, type of bristles, and behavior toward dental treatment. Responses from the patients were evaluated statistically.

Results: Out of 281 patients, 210 (74.7%) said that they use toothbrush regularly, so the most common instrument used for oral hygiene practice was toothbrush, and the second most commonly used oral hygiene aid was chewing stick, i.e., 17.7%. Majority of study participants (71.8%) said that they brush once a day, whereas 24.9% said that they brush twice daily. However, only 1.7% patients were found using mouthwash and none of the study participants were using any kind of interdental aids, so overall lack in knowledge, attitude, and practices among people was seen with respect to oral hygiene practices.

Conclusion: The study shows that a large number of people have started using soft brushes. Majority of people are changing toothbrush at recommended interval, but the horizontal pattern of brushing is still more common among people. Use of oral hygiene aids like mouthwash and dental floss was found to be less. Though most of the people use toothbrush and toothpaste, still there is requirement for educational program to increase awareness regarding oral health. Whenever a patient visits a dental college OPD for any problem, they must be educated and motivated regarding prevention of oral diseases, preferably through oral health education section/museum present at the dental college. At the same time, toothbrushing demonstration section should also be set up at every dental college for educating the correct technique of toothbrushing.

Keywords: Awareness, Motivation, Oral hygiene, Toothpaste.

How to cite this article: Gupta VK, Mishra G, Malhotra S, Ahuja A, Mishra J. Oral Hygiene Awareness and Practices among Patients attending Outpatient Department at Dental College, Lucknow. Int J Prev Clin Dent Res 2018;5(1):21-24.

Source of support: Nil

Conflict of interest: None