The aim of this study was to determine the self-reported preventive oral health related behaviours of dentally anxious schoolchildren. 1103 children participated in the study, mean age 14 years (SD 0.35 years), and the prevalence of high dental anxiety was 7.1 per cent (95 per cent confidence interval = 5.6 per cent, 8.6 per cent). Children with high self reported dental anxiety were more likely to defer, cancel and or not attend dental appointments. In addition, for this group the last dental visit was more likely to be as a result of pain and less likely to have been for a dental examination only. Overall dentally anxious children did not help themselves by keeping their teeth clean. Fluorides were infrequently used by all the children, and only 12 per cent of all who participated in the study used fluoride supplements regularly. In this context it is not surprising that no differences in present or past use of fluoride supplements could be determined between high and low/moderate dental anxiety groups. The high dental anxiety group spend significantly more (median = 50p) on sweets per day and drank more cans of fizzy drinks (median = 2) compared with the low/moderate anxiety groups. These effects were significant after taking into account social class and gender differences. It was clear from the study that even when social class and gender are taken into account the children with high dental anxiety were not helped by their relatively poor attitudes towards preventing disease in their own mouths.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Community Dental Health|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Mar 1992|