Sociobehavioral factors influencing tooth-brushing frequency among schoolchildren

Ana Alicia Vallejos-Sánchez, Carlo Eduardo Medina-Solís, Gerardo Maupomé, Juan Fernando Casanova-Rosado, Mirna Minaya-Sánchez, Juan José Villalobos-Rodelo, América Patricia Pontigo-Loyola

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30 Scopus citations


Background. Toothbrushing may help prevent some oral health diseases considered to be public health problems - in particular, certain presentations of chronic periodontal diseases and dental caries. The authors conducted a study to identify variables associated with frequency of tooth-brushing with toothpaste among schoolchildren aged 6 to 12 years. Methods. The authors collected data regarding sociodemographic, socioeconomic, oral hygiene and attitudinal variables through a cross-sectional questionnaire administered to 1,373 schoolchildren from Campeche, Mexico. They categorized toothbrushing frequency as "two times a day or fewer" and "three times a day or more." The authors used logistic regression to analyze the data. Results. Multivariate analyses showed that girls (odds ratio [OR] = 1.41), older children (OR = 1.07) and offspring of mothers with higher levels of schooling (OR = 1.07) were more likely to brush more frequently. The results showed an interaction between the attitude of the mother toward oral health and the use of dental care in the previous 12 months. When mothers had a positive attitude, the likelihood of their children's brushing more frequently was higher among those who received dental care in the previous 12 months (OR = 2.43; P ≤ .001) than among those who did not receive dental care. Conclusions. Mothers' characteristics were associated with more favorable patterns of toothbrushing in children. Thus, targeting the linkages between mothers' characteristics and children's behaviors could lead to more effective health promotion and preventive efforts among this population. Clinical Implications. Clinicians should take into account that certain characteristics of mothers are associated with more desirable habits in their children. Future research should try to fully characterize these family linkages and determine how to support them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)743-749
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Dental Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Dental public health
  • Hygiene practices
  • Prevention
  • Schoolchildren
  • Toothbrushing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

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    Vallejos-Sánchez, A. A., Medina-Solís, C. E., Maupomé, G., Casanova-Rosado, J. F., Minaya-Sánchez, M., Villalobos-Rodelo, J. J., & Pontigo-Loyola, A. P. (2008). Sociobehavioral factors influencing tooth-brushing frequency among schoolchildren. Journal of the American Dental Association, 139(6), 743-749.