The aim of this study was to determine whether an association exists between daily smoking and infrequent toothbrushing habits among adolescents.
Nationally representative samples of 14-, 16- and 18-year-old Finns (N=5643) took part in the survey. A 12-page structured questionnaire was posted to the adolescents, asking them to complete it and return it in an enclosed pre-paid envelope. The ?(2)-test and a logistic regression model were used for analyses.
At the age of 14 years, 8.5% reported smoking daily, at 16 years 25.0% and at 18 years 33.2%. Only 28.3-54.7% of the adolescents reported brushing their teeth more than once a day. Among 14-year-olds, 6.5% of the adolescents reported both smoking daily and brushing less than twice a day. The respective figures were 17.7% for the 16-year-olds and 21.6% for the 18-year-olds. Among the 14-year-olds, the strongest association with smoking daily and brushing less than twice a day was found with low school performance (OR=8.2), and among 16- and 18-year-olds school career (studying at a vocational school, OR=3.4).
Daily smoking and infrequent toothbrushing are strongly associated in adolescence.