Colour preference between adults and children during a dental treatment session

Physiol Behav. 2017 Feb 1;169:165-168. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2016.11.023. Epub 2016 Nov 21.


Background: It is evidently shown that colour has physical, psychological and sociological effects on human beings. There are many studies showing the effects of colours on brain activity. Colour preferences may change from childhood to adulthood and are significantly different in various age groups. The aim of this study was to evaluate the adults and children in their preference for mouthrinses in various colours under stress condition during a dental treatment session.

Methods: 240 adults and 263 children were included in the study. Three transparent cups were filled with water, two of which were coloured green/pink rinsing by dissolving a tablet in the water. Cups were placed near the dental unit. During dental treatment sessions, patients were told to rinse their mouth with whichever cup they preferred. Preferred colour of cup, gender and age of patient, number of sessions were recorded. Data were statistically analysed by SPSS 15.0 programme and chi-square tests.

Results: Half of all cases preferred water. In adults, while females statistically significantly preferred water, males chose cups with coloured contents (p<0.01). Male adults preferred more than one rinsing solution in a dental treatment session. Children mostly preferred water. Even if adults preferred cups with coloured contents in multi-dental treatment sessions, children regularly preferred water (p<0.001). Female and male children mostly preferred water as a rinsing solution. Water was the most often choice for all patients. Both patients' gender and colours of cups affected choices made by adults and children.

Conclusions: Female adults and children were not interested in trying colourful mouthrinses, while male adults were curious about trying colourful mouthrinses during dental treatment sessions under stress condition.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Choice Behavior / physiology*
  • Color Perception / physiology*
  • Color*
  • Dental Caries / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouthwashes
  • Sex Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Mouthwashes