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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


FREDDO, Silvia Letícia et al. Oral hygiene habits and use of dental services among teenage students in a city in southern Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2008, vol.24, n.9, pp.1991-2000. ISSN 1678-4464.

This study evaluated oral hygiene habits and use of dental services among teenage students, and analyzed their association with sociodemographic factors and life styles. This cross-sectional study included a representative sample of 1,170 seventh-graders from municipal public schools of Gravataí, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. The Cox regression model for univariate analysis, modified for cross-sectional studies, was used to analyze the association between variables. Of the adolescents included in the study, 77.8% brushed their teeth three or more times a day, 31.9% flossed daily, 68.9% visited the dentist regularly, and 50% visited the dentist for dental treatment. Tooth brushing was more frequent among female adolescents. Lower socioeconomic status was associated with a lower frequency of daily flossing, fewer annual dental visits, and a greater prevalence of dental treatment visits. Similar results were found for adolescents with a sedentary lifestyle or that had tried smoking. The consumption of candy was associated with lower frequency of annual dental visits, and the consumption of soft drinks, with greater frequency of treatment visits. A healthy life style was associated with better oral hygiene habits and more frequent dental visits.

Keywords : Oral Hygiene; Dental Health Services; Adolescents.

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