University of Oulu

Tanner, T., Harju, L., Päkkilä, J. et al. Consumption of snacks and dental caries among Finnish young men: a cross-sectional epidemiological study. Odontology 108, 486–492 (2020).

Consumption of snacks and dental caries among Finnish young men : a cross-sectional epidemiological study

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Author: Tanner, Tarja1; Harju, Laura1; Päkkilä, Jari2;
Organizations: 1Department of Cariology, Endodontology and Pediatric Dentistry, Research Unit of Oral Health Sciences, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5281, 90014, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 8000, 90014, Oulu, Finland
3Centre for Military Medicine, Finnish Defence Forces, P.O. Box 5, 11311, Riihimäki, Finland
4Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases, University of Helsinki, Helsinki University Hospital, P.O. Box 41, 00014, Helsinki, Finland
5Medical Research Unit, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5281, 90014, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-07-08


The aim of this study was to investigate the frequency of consumption of snack products, as well as the association between snacking and restorative treatment need, and associated factors among a healthy Finnish male population. Approximately 8500 conscripts answered a computer-based questionnaire covering their snacking habits and other health behaviours. Restorative treatment need and history (DT, DMFT) were examined by trained and calibrated dentists. Cross-tabulations were used to investigate the associations between snacking habits and the other researched variables, and logistic regression analyses (odds ratio and 95% confidence interval) were used to investigate the variables influencing the restorative treatment need. In the present study, almost one-third of the study group consumed snack products daily, most often fizzy and energy drinks. Only 10% had received a diet counselling. The most common situations involving snacking were at the cinema and while playing computer games. According to Pearson’s Chi square test, snacking was associated with smoking and snuffing and infrequent tooth brushing (p < 0.001). According to the regression analyses, daily snacking, smoking, and doing exercise daily increased the odds for restorative treatment need whereas higher education level and tooth brushing twice or more often per day decreased the odds for restorative treatment need. It can be concluded that daily snacking is common among Finnish young men and is associated with restorative treatment need. Snacking is also associated with other harmful oral and general health habits. Individual dietary counselling should be routinely offered to everybody in dental clinics.

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Series: Odontology
ISSN: 1618-1247
ISSN-E: 1618-1255
ISSN-L: 1618-1247
Volume: 108
Issue: 3
Pages: 486 - 492
DOI: 10.1007/s10266-019-00473-z
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 313 Dentistry
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital.
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2019. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.