ATTITUDES TOWARDS AND HABITS IN ORAL HEALTH OF ADOLESCENTS IN HERZEGOVINA
Keywords:Adolescents; Oral habits; Dental health behavior
The aim of the study was to determine attitudes towards and habits in oral health of adolescents in Herzegovina, as well as to evaluate the possible differences in habits among individuals of different adolescent categories. The study included 120 participants (35 male and 85 female) divided into three adolescent categories, as follows: early (11-14 years of age), middle (15-18 years) and late (19-21 years) adolescence, from the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, who presented for dental examination. All participants completed the socio-demographic questionnaire and standardized Hiroshima University Dental Behavioral Inventory (HU-DBI). The answers provided by study adolescents in the HU-DBI showed statistically significant differences among particular age groups, i.e. between early and middle adolescence in items 7 (p=0.046) and 15 (p=0.007); between middle and late adolescence in items 8 (p=0.021), 11 (p=0.04) and 12 (p=0.027); and between middle and late adolescence in item 11 (p=0.032). Respondents in middle adolescence had poorer oral hygiene attitudes than those in early and late adolescence. In order to improve the oral hygiene habits of adolescents in Herzegovina, it is necessary to put emphasis on continuous education about oral hygiene habits during their secondary education.