Submitted: 13 Jul 2014
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Health Promot Perspect. 2014;4(1): 35-45.
doi: 10.5681/hpp.2014.005
PMID: 25097835
PMCID: PMC4122046
  Abstract View: 1047
  PDF Download: 667

Original Research

Oral Health Behaviors in a Sample of Portuguese Adolescents: An Educational Issue

Nélio J. Veiga * , Carlos M. Pereira, Paula C. Ferreira, Ilidio J. Correia
*Corresponding Author: Health Sciences Research Centre – Health Sciences Faculty, Beira Interior University, Covilhã, Portugal Email nelioveiga@gmail.com


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.
Keywords: Oral health, Education, Oral hygiene, Socio-demographic factors, Adolescents, Primary prevention
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