Objective: To determine the differences in oral self-care levels between 322 Romanian dental students. Materials and Methods: The design of the study was a cross-sectional survey of dental students in Romania. The examination was based upon responses to a questionnaire entitled ‘Hiroshima University – Dental Behavioural Inventory (HU-DBI) and three additional questions. Results: Statistically significant differences of the mean HU-DBI scores were observed between year 1 and 2 (level of basic science course) and year 5 and 6 (level of clinical course) and between genders (p < 0.001). Statistically significant differences were notable in 10 items out of 20 between three levels of dental education (basic, preclinical and clinical levels). The most striking results were that year 5 and 6 students were less likely to use a toothbrush with hard bristles (p < 0.001), and less likely to worry about the colour of their teeth (p < 0.01). While 20% of year 1 and 2 students reported daily flossing, almost 46% was reported in year 5 and 6 students (p < 0.001). A significant difference was also observed on flossing behaviour between genders (p < 0.001). Of 205 year 1–4 students, 176 (85.9%) were correctly predicted by the models, and 177 of 193 female students (91.7%) were correctly predicted. Conclusions: There were considerable differences in dental health attitudes/behaviour between the three levels of dental education and between genders.
Keywords: dental education, dental students, gender, oral health behaviour, Romania