Oral Health-Related Risk Behaviours and Attitudes among Croatian Adolescents – Multiple Logistic Regression Analysis

Stjepan Spalj, Vedrana Tudor, Luiđa Ivanković, Darije Plančak


The aim of this study was to explore the patterns of oral health-related risk behaviours in relation to dental status, attitudes, motivation and knowledge among Croatian adolescents. The assessment was conducted in the sample of 750 male subjects – military recruits aged 18 – 28 in Croatia using the questionnaire and clinical examination. Mean number of decayed, missing and filled teeth (DMFT) and Significant Caries Index (SiC) were calculated. Multiple logistic regression models were crated for analysis. Although models of risk behaviours were statistically significant their explanatory values were quite low. Five of them – rarely toothbrushing, not using hygiene auxiliaries, rarely visiting dentist, toothache as a primary reason to visit dentist, and demand for tooth extraction due to toothache – had the highest explanatory values ranging from 21 - 29% and correctly classified 73 – 89% of subjects. Toothache as a primary reason to visit dentist, extraction as preferable therapy when toothache occurs, not having brushing education in school and frequent gingival bleeding were significantly related to population with high caries experience (DMFT≥14 according to SiC) producing Odds ratios of 1.6 (95% CI 1.07-2.46), 2.1 (95% CI 1.29-3.25), 1.8 (95% CI 1.21 – 2.74) and 2.4 (95% CI 1.21-2.74) respectively. DMFT≥14 model had low explanatory value of 6.5% and correctly classified 83% of subjects. It can be concluded that oral health – related risk behaviours are interrelated. Poor association was seen between attitudes concerning oral health and oral health – related risk behaviours, indicating insufficient motivation to change lifestyle and habits. Self-reported oral hygiene habits were not strongly related to dental status.


oral hygiene, risk behaviours, attitudes, oral health

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