Objective: To assess the association between toothbrushing and dietary self-efficacy and oral health status and behaviour related to it among Turkish pre-adolescents. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study of Turkish school pre-adolescents aged 10 to 12 (n = 611) by oral health examinations (OHE) and self-administered health behaviour questionnaire (PHBQ). The PHBQ, including new Toothbrushing (TBSES), and modified Dietary Self-Efficacy (DSES), was designed to survey pre-adolescents oral, dietary and general hygiene behaviour by psychosocial factors. An OHE based on World Health Organization criteria was implemented. The participation rate was 97% (n = 591), and 95% (n = 584) for PHBQ and OHE. Multiple linear regression analysis, descriptive statistics, factor and item analysis, Pearson correlation coefficient, chi-square test, and Student t-test were applied. Results: Pre-adolescents, mostly with regular toothbrushing habits (69% at least once a day) and high levels of irregular dental visits (79%) had as their mean DMFS figure 3.77 ± 3.37. Principal component analysis for TBSES and DSES revealed that four factors met the Kaiser Criteria, accounting for 50.2% of total variance. Scales with good internal consistency and test-retest stability were associated with professionally (DMFS) and self-assessed dental health (p < 0.05). A similar tendency appeared between self-assessed gingival health and DSES (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Self-efficacy beliefs were associated with oral health and related behaviour among pre-adolescents. Further research is needed for implementation of scales to enhance oral health.
Keywords: pre-adolescents, oral health, self-efficacy, Turkey