Dental health practices among Finnish university students were studied in 1980. In order to obtain more information about the factors associated with different health status this problem was studied using linear discriminant analyses. 360 students were separately classified into fifths according to increasing individual VPI, GBI and DMFS index scores. According to the classification, the students of the two first fifths with lowest mean index scores were combined in the positively health oriented group. The students with low VPI and GBI index scores reported that they brushed their teeth most frequently. Also the good results of the dip-slide method for counting salivary lactobacilli correlated well with the low VPI and DMFS index scores. In the discriminant analysis toothbrushing frequency was the most important single variable related to a good VPI score. By a computer method, 64% of the students were found to be correctly placed in the group of the positively health oriented. The corresponding percentage for the negatively oriented was 69%. The most important single variable related to good GBI and DMFS scores was subjective estimation of condition of dentition. According to GBI score the method correctly placed 57% of the students in the group of the positively and 69% in the group of the negatively health oriented. The respective percentages for DMFS-index were 65% and 68%. The predictor variables failed to make an important contribution toward explaining the great variations in the oral health status indicators.