Self-esteem and oral health behavior in adolescents

Carolina Thaiza Costa Pazos Silvia Carréra Austregésilo Paulo S. A. de Goes About the authors


This study investigated the mediation of self-esteem in adolescents’ oral health behaviors. The Rosenberg self-esteem scale was used to assess self-esteem, whereas data from socio-demographic and behavior characteristics were analyzed by questions validated in previous surveys. The teenagers had good oral health behavior, except unhealthy diet. The number of adolescents with high self-esteem was a lot smaller than those with low self-esteem. The use of dental services, even when associated with high self-esteem, lost significance after being adjusted by sex, age and tooth brushing frequency. Nevertheless, multiple logistic regression analysis, using unadjusted estimates and adjusted with their respective Confidence Intervals of 95%, showed a relationship of self-esteem with age (p-value=0.001) and tooth brushing frequency (p-value=0.019). Regardless of the sex, students over 16 years old with high self-esteem brush their teeth more often, having probably better oral health. These results confirm the modulation of self-esteem in oral health, and then it is necessary the analysis and the use of these psychosocial factors in the young oral health care.

Self-esteem; Health behavior; Oral health; Adolescent

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