Dental health behaviours in a Norwegian population

Community Dent Health. 1990 Mar;7(1):59-68.


The purpose of the present paper was to explain brushing behaviour, interdental cleaning behaviour and sugar behaviour using a selected set of independent variables among 13-14, 23-24, 35-44 and 45-54 year old Norwegians. The empirical data were derived from the Trøndelag survey in 1983 (n = 3339), and the data collection was carried out by means of a self-administered questionnaire. Multiple regression analysis was applied. The model was able to explain from 15-19 per cent of the variance in brushing behaviour, from 6-10 per cent in interdental cleaning behaviour, and from 1-5 per cent in sugar behaviour in the four age groups. It provided a good fit for brushing behaviour and interdental cleaning behaviour among adults. Brushing was found to be a habitualized behaviour supported by social norms, and the habit of toothbrushing seems to persist into later life. Among schoolchildren interdental cleaning behaviour and sugar behaviour seemed to be influenced by the same forces. The model did not fit sugar behaviour of adults, which means that other personal and social processes govern their sugar consumption, and the present model is not able to capture these processes. This might indicate that the motives behind the consumption of sweets are different between adolescent subjects and adults.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Dental Devices, Home Care
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage*
  • Education
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway
  • Oral Hygiene
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Class
  • Sucrose / administration & dosage*
  • Toothbrushing*


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Sucrose