The objective of this study was to measure knowledge and perception related to oral health in Quebec children.
For this study, a provincial sample of Quebec adolescents, 13 to 14 years old, was set up. Adolescents answered a 46-item questionnaire, specifically designed for the study. The questionnaire was completed by over 1,300 adolescents (participation rate = 53.0%).
The answers indicate that adolescents know the importance of toothbrushing and dental services utilization for dental caries prevention. However, their knowledge about dental sealant and fluoride is inadequate. Teenagers believe that they have a significant role to play in the prevention of dental diseases. However, many adolescents consider tooth loss to be a normal consequence of age. The majority of adolescents report their oral health as good. It is noted that dental aesthetics is a more significant factor for them than the quality of their teeth. Finally, dental care is a source of anxiety in one third of the adolescents.
The study of teenagers' knowledge and perceptions related to oral health shows that these elements are strongly influenced by environment, norm and culture. To improve dental health concerns in teenagers, public health policies should concentrate on these elements.