The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between dental knowledge, the source of dental knowledge and oral health behavior in a group of students at a university in Japan. A total of 2,220 university students (1,276 males, 944 females) volunteered to undergo an oral examination and answer a questionnaire. The questionnaire assessed dental knowledge, the source of dental knowledge and oral health behavior (e.g., daily frequency of tooth brushing, use of dental floss and regular dental checkups). The odds ratio and 95% confidence interval for oral health behavior based on dental knowledge and source of dental knowledge were calculated using logistic regression models. Of the participants, 1,266 (57.0%) students obtained dental knowledge from dental clinics, followed by school (39.2%) and television (29.1%). Logistic regression analyses indicated that use of dental floss was significantly associated with source of dental knowledge from dental clinics (P = 0.006). Receiving regular dental checkups was significantly associated with source of dental knowledge; the positive source was dental clinic (P < 0.001) and the negative sources were school (P = 0.004) and television (P = 0.018). Dental clinic was the most common source of dental knowledge and associated with better oral health behavior among the Japanese university students in this study.
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