Oral self-care habits of dental and healthcare providers.

Y. Zadik*, S. Galor, R. Lachmi, N. Proter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the self-care level of dental and healthcare providers regarding prevention of oral diseases METHODS: Healthcare providers (dental assistants and surgeons, laboratory personnel, biologists, medics, paramedics, corpsmen, nurses, pharmacists, physicians, physiotherapists, psychologists, social workers, speech therapists, X-ray technicians) and non-health care providing adults (the general population) were asked to respond to a questionnaire regarding their routine measures for maintaining oral health. RESULTS: Three hundred and twenty-six healthcare providers and 95 non-healthcare providers participated in the study. Regarding toothbrushing, flossing, undergoing periodic dental examinations and professional scaling/polishing, dental practitioners have better, but not perfect, maintenance habits than other healthcare providers. Non-dental healthcare providers have better dental habits than the general population, and nurses and medical practitioners have better dental habits than medics, paramedics, corpsmen and para-medical professionals. Among non-dental healthcare providers, nurses have a relatively high frequency of toothbrushing and flossing but a low frequency of periodic examinations and scaling/polishing. Generally, females reported significantly higher frequencies of toothbrushing and flossing than males did. The toothpaste selection of the participants was primarily influenced by dentists' recommendations, the flavour of the toothpaste, and its anti-malodour effect were the most dominant factors. CONCLUSION: The compliance of health professionals, especially dental practitioners, with appropriate oral health measures is relatively high. However, the dental team cannot always assume that the dental patient, who also happens to be a healthcare provider, has meticulous oral habits. The dental hygienist and surgeon have to educate and motivate their patients, especially healthcare providers because of the influence of the latter on their own patients.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)354-360
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Dental Hygiene
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


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