Objectives: To examine adolescent patient attitudes and understanding of basic orthodontic treatment information presented in either comic book format or plain text.

Methods: This study involved subjects undergoing orthodontic treatment at the Loma Linda University Graduate Orthodontic Clinic. Subjects were randomly assigned to two groups: Group 1 subjects received an orthodontic comic book to read, while Group 2 subjects received a plain text information sheet containing the same pertinent information as Group 1. All subjects completed an identical survey regarding the material they read. Statistical analysis consisted of a chi-square test at α = 0.05 to determine potential differences between Groups 1 and 2, as well as a Spearman’s correlation analysis.

Results: Thirty-two subjects participated in this study in total. Fifteen were assigned to Group 1 (comic book) while 17 were assigned to Group 2 (plain text). Twenty-six (81.3%) claimed English was the primary language at home. Twenty-seven of 32 (84.4%) enjoyed the reading material and 30 subjects (93.8%) reported they both understood the information they read and that it helped them understand orthodontic treatment much more. Twenty-three subjects (71.9%) said they might like to read more information about braces. All 15 subjects from Group 1 claimed they are more interested in taking care of their teeth and smile after reading the orthodontic comic book, but 3 from Group 2 said they were either “unsure” or “not interested”. More subjects from Group 2 claimed they needed to look back at the material to answer objective questions. For English-speaking subjects, these results were statistically significant (p=.044)

Conclusions: Subjects generally enjoyed both types of reading the material given to them and self-reported that they could understand what was conveyed. Comic books improved self-reported interest in oral care more than plain text for primarily English-speakers. Performance on objective questions was similar for both groups however, for primarily English-speakers, subjects were more likely to need multiple looks at the material after reading the plain text information sheet than those who read the comic book.

LLU Discipline





School of Dentistry

First Advisor

Kitichai Rungcharassaeng

Second Advisor

Joseph Caruso

Third Advisor

Robert Mitchell

Degree Name

Master of Science in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics (MSODO)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Orthodontics, Corrective; Adolescent; Surveys and Questionnaires; Comic books, strips, etc., in health education



Page Count

ix, 40 p.

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives