Children’s attitudes and behaviors about oral health and dental practices

Sara Costa Fernandes*, Ana Louceiro, Luísa Bandeira Lopes, Francisco Esteves, Patrícia Arriaga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The present study sought to contribute to a better understanding of children’s attitudes and behaviors regarding oral health and dental practices. The sample was composed of 101 children (8–10 years), collected from several schools in the Lisbon metropolitan area. Our main goals were to collect a survey of information about the beliefs, attitudes, habits and knowledge of children about oral and dental issues in order to not only have an overview of them but also to serve as a basis and a starting point for the development of intervention programs to increase positive attitudes and behaviors related to oral health and promote greater knowledge about these subjects. In general, children reported positive behaviors regarding dental habits and oral hygiene practices. Children’s opinions and beliefs about dentists were also globally positive; however, the results suggested that younger children reported more positive attitudes, emotions and previous experiences. Regarding children’s knowledge about these dental issues, the results were quite negative and worrying, ruled by ignorance and incorrect beliefs and behaviors. In sum, all the results and conclusions of this study may contribute to the development of educational programs within the scope of the promotion of oral health and hygiene practices—“An Adventure about Oral Health.”.
Original languageEnglish
Article number416
Number of pages11
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Dental practices
  • Oral health
  • Oral health promotion


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