The influence of social and living environment on development of oral hygiene habits in people over the age of 65

Original Article, Pol J Public Health 2014;124(2): 66-69


Chair and Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, Medical University of Lublin, Poland

DOI: 10.2478/pjph-2014-0014


Introduction. Oral health largely depends on proper hygiene, which in elderly people is not different from generally accepted standards, however, must be adjusted to specific conditions in oral cavities of the elderly.
Aim. The aim of the study was the assessment of oral hygiene habits in people over the age of 65 residing in Lublin Nursing Homes and in family homes basing on questionnaire survey.
Material and methods. The study was conducted among 240 people over the age of 65: 117 residents of the four Lublin Nursing Homes (group I) and 123 seniors living in their own homes in Lublin (group II). Assessment of the oral hygiene habits was conducted basing on the questionnaire survey concerning the frequency of tooth brushing, type of toothpaste, the use of additional oral aids as well as the frequency of toothbrush replacement.
Results. Questionnaire survey revealed that seniors residing in Nursing Homes who had their own teeth most frequently brushed them once daily e.g. 37.25%, whereas the surveyed who lived in their family homes twice daily – 47.67%. In both groups the people who brushed their teeth used fluoride toothpastes. Additional oral hygiene aids were used by 31.71% of the surveyed living with their families. Both, the residents of Nursing Homes and those who lived with their families most frequently reported replacing their toothbrushes at least every 3 months.
Conclusions. Nursing Homes residents essentially more frequently revealed considerable neglect and irregularities in oral hygiene in comparison to seniors living with their families. Population of elderly people, especially residents of nursing homes, should be provided with complex dental care.


geriatric dentistry, the aged, oral hygiene, nursing homes.


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