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Supplementary Material for: Event-Based but Not Time-Based Prospective Memory Is Related to Oral Health in Late Adulthood

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posted on 11.01.2021, 08:38 by Manchery N., Nangle M.R., Grainger S.A., Haines S., Pradhan A., Rendell P.G., Henry J.D.
Background: Most evidence now indicates that cognitive function is related to poorer oral health in late adulthood, but that this relationship is not invariant across specific cognitive domains. Prospective memory (PM) is a core memory skill that refers to memory for future intentions and is known to be related to the formation of habits such as tooth flossing. However, the relationship between PM and oral health has been subject to only limited empirical study. Objective: The two studies reported in this paper were designed to test whether PM is related to oral health in older adults of varying vulnerability status. Methods: Study 1 sampled community-dwelling older adults (N = 172) living independently in the community; Study 2 sampled older adults living in a retirement village (N = 32). Participants in both studies were asked to complete a behavioural measure of PM, with their oral health indexed via self-report (Study 1) or an objective oral health exam (Study 2). Results: In both studies, relationships emerged between event-based PM and oral health, with Study 2 showing that these relationships were specific to oral health measures of plaque and calculus. Conclusions: Older adults are particularly vulnerable to dental pathology, with important implications for their broader health and well-being. By showing that there is a relationship between oral health and a particular type of PM, this work will have potential implications for the development of more effective interventions focused on enhancing oral health outcomes in this group, such as those focused on strengthening habit formation.