Why mechanical cleaning doesn’t always control plaque?

In a recent interview with Professors Nicola West and Tim Newton, they spoke about how dental professionals can build on the support they already provide to their patients, to try to achieve improved plaque control.

Plaque control

Nicola: According to van der Weijden and Slot (2015), under half of the plaque is removed if you ask someone to clean their teeth. If you ask them to clean again, it tends not to be not much better.

We are creatures of habit and clean in the same way each time.

Tim: Evidence can always tell us what will work on average or in general. But it’s about how you tailor that evidence for the person in front of you. That’s particularly true for behaviour change.

What we tend to think about is principles that are very effective in helping to change someone’s behaviour. But when it comes to the individual, you have to think about where they are. What can they achieve, what they can fit in. And how you take those principles and tie them to that individual case.

Nicola: I agree. It’s important to recognise that different people have different susceptibilities. And to know how to take those into consideration when creating a plan if we are going to successfully manage individual patients.

To read the interview in full visit here: www.dentistry.co.uk/2020/12/02/managing-oral-hygiene-healthy-habits.

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