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A gender perspective of self-perceived oral health in adolescents: associations with attitudes and behaviours
Public Dental Services and Skaraborg Institute, Skövde.
Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Public Dental Service.
Public Dental Services and Skaraborg Institute, Skövde.
2001 (English)In: Community Dental Health, ISSN 0265-539X, Vol. 18, no 2, 110-116 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective To investigate the associations between dental attitudes and behaviours, and self-perceived oral health from a gender perspective in an adolescent population. Design A census survey. Self-reported questionnaires were answered anonymously in a standardised manner in classrooms. Attitudes studied included the importance of sound teeth and feelings towards visits to the dentist. Behaviours were represented by floss usage and sweets consumption. Setting All senior and upper secondary level schools in Skaraborg County, Sweden. Subjects 17,280 students, aged 13-18 years, Outcome measures Self-perceived oral health. represented by a single-item rating: satisfaction with the appearance of the teeth: self-assessed gum bleeding and a perceived oral health (POH) index. Results Recognising sound teeth as important was a predominating attitude among the respondents (boys 94%, girls 97%) and was significantly associated with a good perceived oral health overall. Individuals who experienced visits to dentist as unpleasant (boys 36%, girls 43%) were less likely to perceive good oral health as single-item rated (OR for boys 0.55[0.49, 0.63], girls 0.40[0.34, 0.47]). Regular use of floss had a small protective effect on bleeding gums. Daily sweets consumption showed a significant and inverse association with self-perceived oral health as single-item rated (OR for boys 0.53[0.44, 0.66], girls 0.49[0.40, 0.60]). Girls, more often than boys, perceived their oral health to be good, except in the perception of the appearance of their teeth. Conclusions It is concluded that the strong associations between attitudes and self-perceived oral health should be recognised in strategies for oral health promotion and that gender differences must be considered.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
World Dental Press; 1998 , 2001. Vol. 18, no 2, 110-116 p.
Keyword [en]
adolescents; attitudes; behaviours; questionnaire; self-perceived oral health
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-72970ISI: 000169519200009PubMedID: 11461058OAI: diva2:464262
Available from: 2011-12-13 Created: 2011-12-13 Last updated: 2011-12-19

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