Objectives : The study has three aims: 1) to assess the perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors of dental hygiene students and other college students towards oral and dental care, 2) to provide grounds for developing an oral and dental health educational program, and 3) to improve the oral and dental health status among the college student population.
Methods : The subjects in this study were 520 students who included dental hygiene students from J health college and other majors from a four-year university located in Seoul. The survey was conducted from September,2010, to June 3, 2011. The collected 507 questionnaires were analyzed. The collected data were analyzed by the statistical package SPSS WIN 12.0, and the level of significance was set at 0.05.
Results : 1. As for a daily toothbrushing frequency, the largest number of the students brushed their teeth three times a day, and the dental hygiene students did that more often than the other majors(p<0.001). Concerning awareness of the toothbrushing method and the time for the change of the toothbrush, the rolling method was more prevailing among the dental hygiene students than the others(p<0.001). 2. In regard to education experience about the toothbrushing method and satisfaction with the existing toothbrushing method, 64.7% of respondents ever received education about the toothbrushing method(p<0.001). 3. As to scaling experience and gingival bleeding,the dental hygiene students had more scaling experiences(p<0.001), and the other majors who underwent gingival bleeding from time to time outnumbered the dental hygiene students who did(p<0.01). 4. In relation to subjective oral health status, the dental hygiene students found themselves to be in better oral health than the other majors(p<0.001), and the latter had more parts of the mouth in which they didn’t feel well than the former(p<0.01). The dental hygiene students were more concerned about their oral health(p<0.001) and felt more uncomfortable in chewing(p<0.05). The other majors felt more uncomfortable in pronunciation(p<0.01).
Conclusions : The results of this study indicated that dental hygiene students strongly recognized the importance of knowledge, motivation, and self-care behaviors, and attitudes towards oral health and dental care compared to other college students. It suggested that regular educational programs for the college student population should be implemented to increase their concern for oral and dental issues and to improve their oral and dental health status.