Title: 0583 - Patients’ Oral Health Literacy, Motivation and Barriers Regarding Interdental Deplaquing


Avie Smith (Presenter)
UNC School of Dentistry

Antonio Moretti, University of North Carolina
Jennifer Brame, UNC School of Dentistry
Akane Takemura, Sunstar Americas, Inc.
Rebecca wilder, UNC School of Dentistry


Objectives: The aim of this mixed methods study was to assess patients’ oral health literacy, motivation level, and barriers regarding interdental deplaquing.

Methods: Forty-nine participants were recruited from a study that compared two interdental oral hygiene methods: Glide® Pro-Health Floss Original (F) and GUM® Curved Soft-Picks® Advance (SP). All participants completed daily diaries and 2 questionnaires at 28 days regarding motivation, tiredness, confidence and satisfaction for their deplaquing method. Mantel-Haenszel chi-square test was utilized. Nineteen of 49 participants attended a focus group discussion (one F and one SP) about their oral health behaviors, literacy, motivators and barriers regarding interdental deplaquing. Discussions were digitally recorded, transcribed, and imported into ATLAS.ti 7.5.15 to apply codes and identify themes.

Results: Questionnaires revealed no statistically significant differences between the two groups in age, sex or ethnicity. There was a statistically significant higher agreement among the floss group about its ability to remove food/debris interdentally (p=.01), cleaning thoroughly interdentally (p=.02), fitting easily interproximally (p=<.001), and clean feeling of the mouth (p=.01). There was statistically significant higher agreement among the SP group about the ease and efficiency of use (p=.01), convenience (p=.003), easy to hold (p=.0001), and easy use away from home (p=.008). Daily diary revealed higher motivation and compliance rates in the SP group. During the focus groups, some reported not feeling clean unless they deplaqued interdentally, however, most reported lacking motivation due to time constraints, lack of immediate or tangible rewards, and lack of knowledge on proper use of interdental devices or the benefits of using them.

Conclusions: This study showed that barriers to interdental deplaquing may hinder patients’ motivation to perform this function daily. Interdental deplaquing behavior may be largely affected by poor levels of literacy and motivation in patients. Future investigations should focus on methods to increase patient motivation and consistency of use with interdental devices.

This abstract is based on research that was funded entirely or partially by an outside source:
Sunstar Americas, Inc.

Disclosure Statement:
The submitter must disclose the names of the organizations with which any author have a relationship, the nature of the relationship, and the clinical or research area involved. The following is submitted: NONE

Sponsoring Group/Network