Oral health-related practices among undergraduate dental students in Nigerian universities

Oral health-related practices among undergraduate dental students in Nigerian universities


  • Lawrence O. Igbinosa Department of Oral Diagnosis & Radiology, University of Benin, Nigeria
  • Dave O. Ikpefan Dental Centre, Central hospital, Benin City


Oral health, practices, Nigeria


Objective: Description of oral health-related practices among dental students in Nigerian Universities.


Methods: The study was a descriptive cross-sectional survey involving the use of a multi-stage sampling technique to select 812 undergraduate dental students from 6 schools. Version 16 of SPSS statistical package was used for the analysis. Ethical approval was obtained from UI/UCH Ethics Committee.

 Results: The mean age of the respondents was 22.0±3.0 years. About 15% of the students were in year-1, while about 17% of the students were in each of years 2 to 6. The mean practice score was 8.7±1.9 of 16 (54%). About 45% of the participants brush their teeth twice daily while about 54% do so only once daily. Fifty percent reported that their duration of brushing is more than two minutes. About 16% reported regular use of dental floss. About 90% used tooth paste with fluoride when they brush their teeth. Only 16.5% of the students visited their dentist regularly every 6 to 12 months. About 43% of them have never visited a dentist. Sixty two percent of them consumed sugary snacks at least once a day. Almost all of the respondents brushed their teeth with toothbrush (99.6%) and used tooth paste containing fluoride (96.4%). The oral health practices of the students were generally improved with age, study level and knowledge of oral health of respondents.


Conclusion: The oral health practice among the students was fair. As part of their curriculum, dental students should start learning about preventive aspects of oral health as early as their first year in the University.