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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12247-12260; doi:10.3390/ijerph111212247

Oral Health Behaviour and Social and Health Factors in University Students from 26 Low, Middle and High Income Countries

1,2,3,* and 1,4
1
ASEAN Institute for Health Development, Mahidol University, Salaya, Phutthamonthon, Nakhonpathom 73170, Thailand
2
Department of Psychology, University of Limpopo, Turfloop Campus, Sovenga 0727, South Africa
3
HIV/AIDS/STIs/and TB (HAST), Human Sciences Research Council, Private Bag X41, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
4
Department of Research & Innovation, University of Limpopo, Turfloop Campus, Sovenga 0727, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 September 2014 / Revised: 19 November 2014 / Accepted: 20 November 2014 / Published: 26 November 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Environmental Determinants of Oral Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [686 KB, uploaded 26 November 2014]

Abstract

Poor oral health is still a major burden for populations throughout the world, particularly in developing countries. The aim of this study was investigate oral health behaviour (tooth brushing and dental attendance) and associated factors in low, middle and high income countries. Using anonymous questionnaires, data were collected from 19,560 undergraduate university students (mean age 20.8, SD = 2.8) from 27 universities in 26 countries across Asia, Africa and the Americas. Results indicate that 67.2% of students reported to brush their teeth twice or more times a day, 28.8% about once a day and 4.0% never. Regarding dental check-up visit, 16.3% reported twice a year, 25.6% once a year, 33.9% rarely and 24.3% never. In a multivariate logistic regression analysis, being a male, coming from a wealthy or quite well off family background, living in low income or lower middle income, weak beliefs in the importance of regular tooth brushing, depression and PTSD symptoms, tobacco use and frequent gambling, low physical activity, and low daily meal and snacks frequency were associated with inadequate tooth brushing (<twice daily). Further, being a male, older age, coming from a not well off or poor family background, living in low income or lower middle income, weak beliefs in the importance of regular tooth brushing, PTSD symptoms, illicit drug use, low physical activity, and low daily snacks frequency, skipping breakfast and inadequate fruit and vegetables consumption were associated with less than one annual dental care visit. Oral health behaviour among the students was found to be low. Various risk factors identified can be used to guide interventions to improve oral health behaviour among university students. View Full-Text
Keywords: oral health behaviour; tooth brushing; dental attendance; health risk behaviour; social determinants; mental health; university students; 26 countries oral health behaviour; tooth brushing; dental attendance; health risk behaviour; social determinants; mental health; university students; 26 countries
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Peltzer, K.; Pengpid, S. Oral Health Behaviour and Social and Health Factors in University Students from 26 Low, Middle and High Income Countries. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 12247-12260.

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