Aim The purpose of this longitudinal study was to investigate whether self-efficacy scale for self-care (SESS) was related to changes in oral health behaviours and progression of periodontal disease in Japanese university students. Material and Methods Students (n = 533) who were interested in receiving oral health examinations before entering the university and before graduation were included in the analysis. Self-efficacy was assessed using SESS, which uses three subscales: self-efficacy for brushing of the teeth (SE-BR), for dentist consultations (SE-DC) and for dietary habits. The informations about oral health behaviours were also collected. For all participants, oral hygiene instructions was performed at baseline. After 3 years, the oral health behaviours and the periodontal condition were re-assessed. Results The progression of periodontal disease was related to low baseline SE-BR. Logistic regression analysis showed that progression of periodontal disease risk during a 3-year period was associated with low baseline SE-BR (OR: 1.516; 95% CI: 1.010-2.275; p < 0.05). The increase in the score of SE-DC was related to the increase in regular dental checkups (p < 0.05). Conclusion Low SESS was associated with progression of periodontal disease and improvement of oral health behaviours in university students who received oral hygiene instructions at baseline.
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