Oral health behaviors in a sample of Portuguese adolescents: an educational issue

Nélio J. Veiga, Carlos M. Pereira, Paula C. Ferreira, Ilidio J. Correia

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of oral health behaviors among a sample of Portuguese adolescents and to evaluate the association with socio-demographic factors. METHODS: This cross-sectional study was conducted among 447 adolescents aged 12-19 years, attending a public school in Sátão, Portugal. A self-administered questionnaire was applied for data collection. RESULTS: The prevalence of tooth brushing (twice-a-day or more) was 90.6%. About 6% of adolescents reported daily flossing, which was more frequent among female gender (female, OR=2.03, 95%CI= (1.35 to 3.05)) and adolescents older than 15 years (>15years, OR=1.90, 95%CI= (1.24 to 2.92)). Sixty-seven percent had at least one dental appointment in the previous twelve months. The prevalence of dental appointments was associated with the father´s professional situation (unemployed, OR=0.33, 95% CI= (0.17 to 0.65)) and crowding index (>1, OR=0.4, 95%CI=(0.16 to 0.98)). Thirty-two point nine percent of adolescents referred having at least one episode of dental pain during their lives.CONCLUSION: The results highlight the need for improvement of oral health community programs and primary preventive strategies to reduce the risk of oral diseases and develop better oral health behaviours.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-45
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Promotion Perspectives
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2014

Keywords

  • Oral health
  • Education
  • Oral hygiene
  • Socio-demographic factors
  • Adolescents
  • Primary prevention

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