Purpose: The objective of the present study was to determine if there existed any difference between the attitudes and behaviour apart from dental caries status among health professional and other professional college students and to investigate the association of oral health attitudes and behaviour with dental caries. Materials and Methods: The Hiroshima University-Dental Behaviour Inventory (HU-DBI) questionnaire was used to survey 1824 young student population of Udaipur, India. Dental caries status was evaluated using the World Health Organization caries diagnostic criteria for decayed, missing and filled teeth and surfaces (DMFT and DMFS, respectively). Results: There was a significant difference (P < 0.05) between the health professional and other professional college students for various components of DMFT and DMFS. Moreover, health professional students reported significantly higher HU-DBI scores (better oral health attitudes and behaviour) than their comparative group. Untreated dental caries played a major contribution to the total DMFT scores in both the groups, with 0.23 and 0.28 mean decayed teeth reported among health professional and other professional students, respectively. Decayed and missing teeth components exhibited a significant negative correlation with HU-DBI scores, whereas a positive correlation existed with the filled teeth component. Conclusions: A difference existed between the health professional and other professional students with regard to caries experience, oral health attitudes and behaviour. DMF indices and their components were related to most of the oral health attitudes and behaviours. Decayed and missing teeth components were negatively related while filled component was positively related to HU-DBI score.
Keywords: caries status, health professional students, oral health attitudes, oral health behaviour