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Socio-economic and lifestyle factors in relation to priority of dental care in a Swedish adolescent population.

Journal article
Authors Anna-Lena Ostberg
Jessica S Ericsson
Jan Wennström
Kajsa H. Abrahamsson
Published in Swedish dental journal
Volume 34
Issue 2
Pages 87-94
ISSN 0347-9994
Publication year 2010
Published at Institute of Odontology
Pages 87-94
Language en
Keywords Adolescent, Adolescent Behavior, Attitude to Health, Dental Care, psychology, utilization, Female, Humans, Life Style, Male, Oral Health, Oral Hygiene, Questionnaires, Socioeconomic Factors, Sweden, epidemiology, ethnology, Young Adult
Subject categories Periodontology


The aim of this epidemiological survey was to describe and analyze oral health habits and life-style factors in relation to the priority of regular dental care in 19-year-old individuals with specific reference to gender, residential area and socio-economic grouping. The data were generated from a randomized sample of 758 (63%) individuals in three residential areas in Western Sweden (two rural, one urban) who answered a set of questionnaires prior to a dental examination. The analysis revealed that males had significantly less favourable oral health habits than females. Forty-one % of the males and 30% of the females did not plan regular dental visits after the age of 20 when they will be charged for the care (p = 0.002). There were no statistically significant differences in oral health habits and dental care priorities with regard to residential areas and socio-economic groups. In a multivariate model, three significant factors for the probability of "not planning for future regular dental visits" were identified: toothbrushing less than twice daily (OR 1.94; 95% CI 1.28-2.94), smoking (OR 1.68; 95% CI 1.10-2.56) and male gender (OR 1.54; 95% CI 1.05-2.24). The findings emphasize the need for promotion of favourable oral health habits and smoking prevention among adolescents. There is also a need for dental personnel to recognize differences with regard to oral health-related attitudes and behaviours between males and females.

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