ORAL SELF-CARE BEHAVIOR DIFFERENCES BETWEEN DENTAL STUDENTS IN GRADUATE AND DOCTORAL PROGRAMS
Purpose: The aim of this study is to compare oral health behaviors of dental students in graduate and doctoral programs (PhD students) and to determine the effects of parental education and occupation on these behaviors.
Materials and Methods: A questionnaire about oral health behaviors was carried out in a Faculty of Dentistry in Ankara, Turkey. A total of 629 questionnaires were distributed, 528 dental and 101 PhD students responded. Parental education and occupation were also recorded. Data was statistically analyzed.
Results: Statistically significant differences were found between the two groups with respect to frequency of replacing toothbrush (p=0.001), use of electric toothbrush (p<0.001), frequency of brushing (p<0.001), amount of water used to rinse mouth (p<0.001), toothpaste selection criteria (p<0.001), use of dental floss (p<0.001), amount of toothpaste used for brushing (p=0.018), frequency of taking professional care (p<0.001) and sugar consumption (p<0.001). PhD group showed more favorable outcomes for these behaviors except toothpaste selection criteria. Parental education and occupation were correlated with higher frequencies of flossing and mouth rinsing.
Conclusion: The outcomes of this study show that the self-reported quality of overall oral health behavior is more pronounced in PhD students than those in graduate programs, with the exceptions of behaviors regarding duration of brushing, criteria of choosing toothpaste and use of oral rinse. Present dental curriculum in the universities should be revisited with respect to oral health attitudes. This study also implied that educational and occupational status of parents had little effect on oral health behavior of the students including use of dental floss and mouth rinse.
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