Promoting oral hygiene behavior in recruits in the Dutch army

Yvonne Buunk-Werkhoven, Arie Dijkstra, Henk van der Wal, Nina Basic, Steven A Loomans, Cees van der Schans, Rob van der Meer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVES: To make practical recommendations for improving oral hygiene behavior (OHB) potential predictors based on the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) were assessed. Measurements of oral health knowledge (OHK) and the expected social effect for having healthy teeth were included.

METHODS: 216 recruits in the Dutch Army ground forces completed a questionnaire about oral hygiene behavior, attitudes, social norms, perceived behavioral control (PBC), intention to perform optimal OHB, OHK, and expected social outcomes.

RESULTS: The multivariate regression analysis revealed that attitude and PBC explained 37.2% of the variance in intention to perform optimal oral hygiene behavior, which is a substantial proportion. Furthermore, actual oral hygiene behavior was only predicted by attitude, explaining 7.1% of the variance.

CONCLUSION: The present findings suggest that recruits' oral hygiene behavior may be improved by promoting a more positive attitude and especially by enhancing perceived behavior control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)971-976
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2009


  • oral hygiene
  • adolescents
  • recruits


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