J Korean Acad Oral Health.  2015 Sep;39(3):186-194. 10.11149/jkaoh.2015.39.3.186.

Relationship of oral health literacy with oral health behaviors among adults

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Preventive and Public Health Dentistry, College of Dentistry, Wonkwang University, Iksan, Korea. smagn@wonkwang.ac.kr

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The purpose
of this study was to investigate the relationship between oral health literacy and oral health behaviors.
METHODS
The study subjects were 760 adults who were selected using the convenience sampling method. The participants were administered a self-report questionnaire. Oral health literacy was classified into two categories: verbal oral health literacy and functional oral health literacy. The oral heath behaviors that were surveyed included perceived oral health status, perceived oral health interest, perceived oral health knowledge, experience of visiting dental clinic, experience of scaling, and the frequency of toothbrushing. Sociodemographic characteristics such as age, gender, marital status, educational level, and family income were also surveyed.
RESULTS
The ratio of self-perceived good oral health status and toothbrushing more than three times a day was higher in the participants with high oral health literacy than in those with low oral health literacy. Oral health literacy was positively correlated with oral health behaviors. Perceived oral health status, perceived oral health interest, perceived oral health knowledge, experience of scaling, and frequency of daily toothbrushing were also positively correlated with oral health literacy. Furthermore, perceived oral health status and frequency of daily toothbrushing were both correlated with verbal oral health literacy and functional oral health literacy. A multiple logistic regression analysis demonstrated that oral health literacy was correlated with oral health behaviors. Verbal oral health literacy was correlated with perceived oral health interest, perceived oral health knowledge, and frequency of daily toothbrushing. Functional oral health literacy was correlated with perceived oral health status.
CONCLUSIONS
To improve the oral health of adults, oral health literacy, which is related to oral health behaviors, should be considered alongside the implementation of appropriate oral health education. Furthermore, an oral health literacy intervention should be immediately developed.

Keyword

Adult; Behaviors; Literacy; Oral health; Toothbrushing
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