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Objectives: To assess the gap between knowledge of interdental cleaning aids and the usage of dental floss among dental students.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was undertaken at the Jinnah Sindh Medical University, Sindh Institute of Oral Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan, between March to May 2022. Using select statistics electronic software, a sample size of 172 was estimated, however, we included 200 participants in the study considering an expected drop-out rate of 15%. A structured questionnaire was designed to collect data from undergraduate dental students. All data were entered and analyzed using SPSS version 26. Percentages and frequencies were calculated to assess the knowledge and implementation of that knowledge among undergraduate dental students. In Association between the year of study and the use of dental floss, a chi-square test was used. A p-value of < 0.05 was set as the cut-off for statistical significance.
Results: A total of 200 participants were included with 24.5%males and 75.5%females. There was a significant association of interdental cleaning aid awareness with gender (p=0.007). Only a small percentage of females knew that waterjets and rubber tips were interdental cleaning aids while the majority of the respondents irrespective of gender knew that dental floss is interdental cleaning aid. Dental floss usage was significantly higher in the female population than in males (18.37% vs. 50.33%; p=0.019).
Conclusion: Our study concluded that while the majority of dental students had knowledge that dental floss should be a routine habit, they themselves were not practicing it. Moreover, about 30% of the study population claimed that they only brushed once a day only. The use of dental floss was significantly more frequent in female dental students.
Keywords: interdental cleaning, dental floss, oral health hygiene, dental plaque
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