The aim of this study was to investigate dental care habits and knowledge of oral health in age- and sex-matched adult long and short duration insulin-dependent diabetics and non-diabetics. Ninety-four long and 86 short duration diabetics and 86 non-diabetics, aged 20-70 years, participated in the study. All subjects answered a questionnaire with 38 questions about dental visits, attitudes to and knowledge of dental diseases, toothcleaning, dietary and smoking habits, and oral sensations. Among the diabetics there was a rather large group that did not visit a dentist annually. The diabetics also required more emergency dental care and were not as willing as the non-diabetics to spend time and money on their teeth. The compliance with dietary advice was poor among the diabetics. Oral discomfort such as prickling and burning sensations, metallic and bad taste was rare in both diabetics and non-diabetics. In the diabetics, however, a feeling of mouth dryness was common.