Objective. Some studies have shown a relationship between psychological symptoms and oral health behaviors. However, it is unknown whether gender differences affect the relationship between psychological symptoms and oral health behaviors. In addition, gender differences in the relationship between dental anxiety and dental visits for treatment or regular check-up are unclear. The objective of the present study was to explain the relationships among gender differences, psychological symptoms, oral health behaviors, dental anxiety and 'expectation of dental visit', evaluated as 'dental visits when treatments are recommended' in university students. Materials and methods. A total of 607 students (311 males, 296 females) aged 18-38 years old were examined. The information was collected via questionnaire regarding gender, psychological symptoms and oral health behaviors. Psychological symptoms were assessed using the Hopkins Symptom Checklist. Structural equation modeling was used to test pathways from these factors to 'expectation of dental visit'. Multiple-group modeling was also conducted to test for gender differences. Results. Psychological symptoms were related to low expectation of dental visit in females, but there was no such relationship in males. Oral health behaviors were related to expectation of dental visit in both genders. Conclusions. Psychological symptoms were directly related to expectation of dental visit in females and oral health behaviors were related to expectation of dental visit in both genders. To promote dental visits after dental check-ups at school, it might be necessary to improve oral health behaviors in both genders and to evaluate psychological symptoms, especially in females.
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