Oral health behaviors and dental caries in a sample of Portuguese militaries

Luís Azevedo*, David Martins, Joana Fialho, Nélio Veiga, André Correia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Objectives: To determine the prevalence of dental caries and oral health behaviors in a sample of the Portuguese army. Methods: An observational cross-sectional study was conducted in a sample of army soldiers of the Infantry Regiment no. 14 of Viseu, Portugal, using a questionnaire. The study involved 122 members of the armed forces, who were asked to complete a questionnaire autonomously. The questionnaire enquired about general oral-health behaviors but focused mainly on: i) frequency of toothbrushing, ii) use of dental floss and iii) frequency of dental appointments. It also asked about sociodemographic information, like age and gender. An intra-oral observation was also conducted to determine the DMFT index and to record dental plaque based on the Silness and Löe plaque index (1964). Results: The prevalence of dental caries was high (51.6%±7.4%; DMFT of 4.6±3.5). The most prevalent score of the Silness and Löe plaque index was score 2 - visible plaque (58.2%). Regarding oral hygiene habits, most of the sample reported brushing their teeth at least twice a day (65.6%) and using fluoride toothpaste (64.8%). However, very few participants (18%) used dental floss. More than 30% of the participants had not visited a dentist within the previous year. Furthermore, 45.9% were current smokers. Conclusion: Prevention programs and promoting actions for oral health with these specific groups are important and should be adopted to reduce the prevalence of dental caries and to increases the knowledge about oral-health behaviors.
Translated title of the contributionComportamentos de saúde oral e cárie dentária numa amostra de militares portugueses
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-23
Number of pages6
JournalRevista Portuguesa de Estomatologia, Medicina Dentária e Cirurgia Maxilofacial
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Army personnel
  • Dental caries
  • Dental plaque
  • Oral health
  • Oral hygiene


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