Determinants of oral hygiene behavior: a study based on the theory of planned behavior

Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2011 Jun;39(3):250-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0528.2010.00589.x. Epub 2010 Nov 10.


Objective: The aim of this study was to develop an index for oral hygiene behavior (OHB) and to examine potential predictors of this actual behavior based on the theory of planned behavior (TPB). Measures of oral health knowledge (OHK) and the expected effect of having healthy teeth on social relationships were included too.

Material and methods: Using an Internet questionnaire, 487 participants were asked about actual OHB, attitudes (ATT), social norms (SN), perceived behavioral control (PBC), OHK, and expected social outcomes (ESO). Based on a Delphi method involving oral health professionals, a new index for OHB was developed, including tooth brushing, interdental cleaning, and tongue cleaning.

Results: Regression analysis revealed that the TPB variables (ATT, SN, and PBC) and OHK explained 32.3% of the variance in self-reported OHB.

Conclusion: The present findings indicate that socio-psychological consequences play a role in oral health care.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health
  • Child
  • Delphi Technique
  • Dental Health Surveys
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oral Hygiene / psychology*
  • Oral Hygiene / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Toothbrushing / psychology
  • Toothbrushing / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult