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Quintessence Int 39 (2008), No. 1     4. Dec. 2007
Quintessence Int 39 (2008), No. 1  (04.12.2007)

Online Article, Page 88, PubMed:18551208


Online Article: Effects of oral health behaviors and socioeconomic factors on a group of Turkish adolescents
Kanli, Aydan / Kanbur, Nuray Öksüz / Dural, Sema / Derman, Orhan
Objective: To investigate the effects of socioeconomic factors and oral health behaviors on adolescents in Turkey.
Method and Materials: Data were collected through a self-administered questionnaire. The sample consisted of 582 randomly selected adolescents, 309 boys and 273 girls, who presented over a 3-month period with various complaints to the Hacettepe University Medical Faculty Adolescent Clinic.
Results: Halitosis complaints were higher in the 11-, 12-, and 13-year-old groups than in other age groups (P < .05). When the sex factor was examined, prevalence of dental fear was found to be higher among girls, while irregular toothbrushing was seen more among boys. In parallel to the increase in the education levels of the parents, an increase was seen in the regular dental visits by the adolescents (P < .05). As the socioeconomic status of the family increased, frequency of dental visits, rate of dental floss usage, and number of teeth with restorations increased. In parallel with the dental visit increase, the rate of restored teeth increased. Of those who did not have regular dental visits because of financial difficulties, however, the rate of teeth with restorations was low.
Conclusion: A strong correlation exists between the oral health behaviors, socioeconomic and sociodemographic factors, and the oral health status of Turkish adolescents.

Keywords: adolescent, dental fear, oral health behaviors, socioeconomic factors