Department of Dental Hygiene, Graduate School of Gachon University1
Department of Dental Hygiene, College of Health Science, Gachon University2
Objectives: The study aimed to analyze the factors affecting the maturity of dental biofilm, which was assessed with quantitative light-induced fluorescence-digital(QLF-D), in a sample of Korean older adults. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 67 participants, aged 65 years and older. All participants completed a questionnaire and tests to measure their manual dexterity and handgrip strength, which are parameters that indicate hand function abilities. To evaluate dental biofilm maturity, 804 surfaces of six index teeth were imaged using QLF-D and then quantified as ΔR values. All data were collected from May 25, 2017 to April 30, 2019. The independent t-test, one-way analysis of variance, and step-wise multiple linear regression were performed to analyze the factors associated with the maturity of dental biofilm (ΔR). Results: The multivariate linear regression analysis revealed that the factor most strongly related to dental biofilm maturity(ΔR) was manual dexterity (β=-0.326), followed by handgrip strength (β=-0.303) and use of interdental cleaning devices (β=-0.283) (p<0.05). Conclusions: Manual dexterity, handgrip strength, and use of interdental cleaning devices are factors that can predict dental biofilm maturity in in adults aged 65 years or older. Therefore, the hand function of a patient should be evaluated first, before assessing the oral hygiene status of the patient or providing him/her with oral health education, and the dental hygienist should provide differentiated oral hygiene care depending on the patient’s hand function ability. Finally, dental hygienists should help older adults to recognize the importance of auxiliary oral hygiene devices such as interdental brushes and keep motivating them to use the devices more frequently.
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