Left- or right-handed: the effect of a preferential use of one hand or the other on dental hygiene

Christa Eleveld, A A Schuller

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    Abstract

    A research project investigated the extent to which a preferential use of one hand or the other has an effect on dental hygiene on the left or right side of the mouth. The study made use of epidemiological dental-care data from the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research and of data from a dental practice specifically collected for this project. The results revealed that among a population which is 85-90% right-handed, statistically significantly more dental plaque was found on the right side of the mouth than on the left. A separate study revealed the prevalence of statistically significantly more dental plaque on the right side than on the left among right-handed people and, among left-handed people, a non-statistically significant trend of more dental plaque on the left than the right. It is concluded that dental hygiene on the left side and the right side of the mouth is very likely to be dependent on the preferential use of one hand or the other. The differences between the left side of the mouth and right among left- and right-handed people are, however, so small that it is questionable whether these should be taken into consideration in giving instructions about dental hygiene.

    Translated title of the contributionLeft- or right-handed: the effect of a preferential use of one hand or the other on dental hygiene
    Original languageDutch
    Pages (from-to)99-104
    Number of pages6
    JournalNederlands tijdschrift voor tandheelkunde
    Volume123
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb-2016

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