Effects of supervised daily dental plaque removal by children after 3 years

Authors

  • Alice M. Horowitz,

    Corresponding author
    1. National Caries Program, National Institute of Dental Research, National Institutes of Health, U. S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Bethesda, Maryland
      Alice M. Horowitz, National Caries Program, NIDR-NIH, Westwood Building, Room 549, 5333 Westbard Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland 20205, U.S.A.
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  • John D. Suomi,

    1. Dental Affairs Staff, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, PHS U. S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Rockville, Maryland
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  • John K. Peterson,

    1. Division of Dental Health, North Dakota State Department of Health, Bismarck, North Dakota
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  • Barbara L. Mathews,

    1. Section of Dental Health, Connecticut State Department of Health, Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.A.
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  • Ronald H. Voglesong,

    1. Section of Dental Health, Connecticut State Department of Health, Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.A.
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  • Beverly A. Lyman

    1. Section of Dental Health, Connecticut State Department of Health, Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.A.
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Alice M. Horowitz, National Caries Program, NIDR-NIH, Westwood Building, Room 549, 5333 Westbard Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland 20205, U.S.A.

Abstract

The benefits of a school-based plaque removal program are presented. Children in grades 5-8 were included in a study which was designed to determine the effect on oral hygiene, gingival inflammation and dental caries of removing dental plaque through supervised daily flossing and toothbrushing in school. A fluoride-free dentifrice was used. Controls did not receive instruction in plaque removal procedures nor did they engage in plaque removal activities at school. For three school years the students in the treatment group practiced daily plaque removal, supervised by trained personnel. All participants were examined initially for plaque (PHP), gingival inflammation (DHC) and dental caries (DMFS). Girls in the treatment group showed a significant reduction (28%) in mean plaque scores and, for girls and boys, the mean changes in gingivitis scores were significantly reduced (40% and 17%, respectively). Adjusted mean incremental DMF surface scores were 13 % lower in the treatment group than in the control group. The difference between groups was not statistically significant and was accounted for entirely by the findings in mesial and distal surfaces (26%). This difference approached statistical significance (P= 0.07).

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