J Dent Hyg Sci.  2020 Mar;20(1):44-50. 10.17135/jdhs.2020.20.1.44.

The Relationship between Smartphone Use and Oral Health in Adolescents

  • 1Department of Dental Hygiene, Daejeon Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon 35408, Korea
  • 2Department of Dental Hygiene, Suwon Science College, Hwaseong 18516, Korea


Smartphones are a modern necessity. While they are convenient to use, smartphones also have side effects such as addiction. This study assessed the relationship between smartphone use, a part of everyday life in modern society, and oral health.
An analysis was conducted using 2017 Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-based Survey data. The propensity score estimation algorithm used logistic regression and 1:1 matching algorithm using nearest-neighbor matching. After matching, a total of 15,032 participants were classified into two groups containing 7,516 teenagers each who did and did not use smartphones, respectively.
Comparison of oral health behaviors according to smartphone use revealed a statistically significant difference in the frequency of tooth brushing per day, use of oral hygiene products, intake of foods harmful to oral health, and experience of oral health education (p<0.05). The factors affecting oral pain experience of adolescents were examined. Compared to male participants, female participants had an odds ratio of 1.627 for oral pain (p<0.05). According to the household income level, compared to the group with higher income, the group with lower income showed higher oral pain experience (p<0.05). Oral pain experience was 1.601 times more frequent among teenagers using smartphones (p<0.05).
The results of this study indicated that use of smartphones by adolescents affected their oral health. These findings indicate the need for improved oral health management through the use of effective school oral health programs and individual counseling by oral health professionals, promotion of information dissemination through public media, and development of prevention strategies.


Adolescent; Adolescent; Smartphone
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