University of Oulu

Lehtinen, Anna-Emilia; Joronen, Katja; Similä, Toni; Rantanen, Anja; Virtanen, Jorma I (2020) School achievement and oral health behaviour among adolescents in Finland : a national survey. Oral Health Prev Dent 18(2): 125-132, doi:10.3290/j.ohpd.a43349

School achievement and oral health behaviour among adolescents in Finland : a national survey

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Author: Lehtinen, Anna-Emilia1; Joronen, Katja2; Similä, Toni3;
Organizations: 1Oral and Dental Services, Health and Social Services, City of Pori, Pori, Finland
2Faculty of Social Sciences (Health Sciences), University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
3Research Unit of Oral Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland; Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu UniversityHospital, Oulu, Finland
4Faculty of Social Sciences (Health Sciences), University ofTampere, Tampere, Finland
5Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland; Department of Community Dentistry, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Quintessence Publishing, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-06-29


Purpose: We examined oral health behaviour and its association with school achievement among Finnish adolescents.

Materials and Methods: This study is part of the Finnish national School Health Promotion study (SHP). The study population comprised a representative sample of Finnish 15-year-olds (N = 45,877). A questionnaire inquired about the respondents’ school achievements and health habits (toothbrushing, smoking), background factors (age, gender, school type, family structure), and their parents’ background factors (education, smoking). Chi-square tests and logistic regression models were used in the statistical analyses.

Results: Better school achievements were associated with better oral health behaviour: 73.1% of students with the highest mean grades (9–10) brushed their teeth twice daily, compared to 33.8% of those with the lowest mean grade (6.9 or less). The lowest mean grade was associated with brushing less than twice daily, especially among boys (odds ratios (OR) = 4.1; 95% CI 3.6–4.7) when compared to those with the highest mean grade, but also among girls (OR = 2.3; 95% CI 2.1–2.7). Smoking among boys was associated with poor oral hygiene (OR = 1.3; 95% CI 1.2–1.4).

Conclusion: School success is strongly associated with oral health behaviour among adolescents. Preventive treatment should be targeted especially at boys with poor school achievement and smoking behaviour.

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Series: Oral health & preventive dentistry
ISSN: 1602-1622
ISSN-E: 1757-9996
ISSN-L: 1602-1622
Volume: 18
Issue: 2
Pages: 125 - 132
DOI: 10.3290/j.ohpd.a43349
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 313 Dentistry
Copyright information: © 2020 Quintessence Publishing Company. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.