Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health


Preventive Medicine & Community Health

First Advisor

Dr. Russell Bogacki

Second Advisor

Dr. Ronald Hunt


Purpose. This study was conducted to identify factors that influence preventive dental behaviors and, from the results, target groups for intervention.Methods. Data were collected using the 1997 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) resulting in a probability sample of 399 dentate adults living in Richmond City, Henrico, Chesterfield and Hanover Counties in Virginia. All analyses were performed using the statistical software program STATA. Initial hypothesis testing was performed using univariate logistic regression models. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to test the significance of independent variables while controlling for other possible predictors of behavior.Results. Females were more likely than males to brush and floss their teeth at the recommended frequencies (OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.4-5.1; OR 2.8, 95% CI 1.5-5.1 respectively). Individuals with higher levels of education were more likely than those with lower levels of education to brush twice daily and have preventive dental visits (OR 4.2, 95% CI 1.3-13.2; OR 5.3, 95% CI 2.0-14.4 respectively). There was no racial difference in the three preventive dental behaviors.Conclusions. Findings suggest that sex and education are important considerations when planning dental health interventions. In the Richmond area, less educated males are in the greatest need of education and other interventions aimed at twice-daily toothbrushing and daily flossing. Further, men and women with lower levels of education are in need of interventions for increasing the utilization of preventive dental services.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008