Is it an association between body appreciation, self-criticism, oral health status and oral health-related behaviors?Rom J Intern Med. 2008; 46(4):343-50.RJ
Our aim was to investigate whether body appreciation and self-criticism are associated with self-reported oral health status and oral-health-related behaviors were associated.
The present study sample consisted of 178 first year medical students. The questionnaire included information about socio-demographic factors, behavioral variables, self-reported oral health status, self-criticism and body appreciation.
Significant differences were found on body appreciation and self-criticism scales according to several variables: gender, anxiety, stress, depression, smoking status, perceived dental health status, current extracted teeth, satisfaction by appearance of own teeth, self-reported gingival condition. When oral health behaviours were analysed we observed that toothbrushing frequency once a day or less was reported mainly in persons with low-levels of body appreciation (P < 0.01) and comparative self-criticism (P < 0.05). Moreover, individuals who visit their dentist mainly when treatment is needed or when in pain were compared with persons who visit their dentist mainly for check-up or for tooth cleaning and scaling; they showed lower levels of body appreciation (P = 0.005), as well as higher levels of comparative self-criticism (P < 0.05), internalized self-criticism (P < 0.05) and total self-criticism (P = 0.009). Multiple linear regression analyses revealed that anxiety in everyday life, body appreciation and comparative self-criticism scales were significantly positively associated with oral health status (r2 = 0.144; F = 3.436, P = 0.001), while body appreciation was related also to gingival health-related status (r2 = 0.087; F = 1.943, P = 0.057). When oral health behaviors were evaluated, it was shown that gender and body appreciation scale were positively associated with toothbrushing frequency (P < 0.0001).
The results suggest that there is an increased risk for impaired dental health status and behaviour among subjects with low levels of body appreciation and high levels of self-criticism.