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Original Research

Open Access

Self-reported oral health habits, knowledge and conditions of schoolchildren and adolescents in mainland China

  • Ren Yang1,†
  • Tianyi Tang2,†
  • Sujuan Wu3
  • Litong Wu4
  • Lang Lei1,*,
  • Huang Li1,*,

1Department of Orthodontics, Nanjing Stomatological Hospital, Medical School of Nanjing University, 210008 Nanjing, China

2Division of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, Eastman Dental Institute, University College London, NW3 2PF London, UK

3Nanjing Stomatological Hospital, Medical School of Nanjing University, 210008 Nanjing, China

4Nanjing Foreign Language School, 210008 Nanjing, China

DOI: 10.22514/jocpd.2023.017

Submitted: 28 October 2022 Accepted: 13 February 2023

Online publish date: 14 March 2023

*Corresponding Author(s): Lang Lei E-mail:
*Corresponding Author(s): Huang Li E-mail:

† These authors contributed equally.


To determine the oral health habits, knowledge and conditions of students in China and investigate the impact of associated factors. A self-reported online questionnaire was distributed through social networks in mainland China to assess the oral health habits, knowledge, and conditions of students aged 6–20 years attending primary, middle, and high schools. Factors potentially associated with oral health, such as oral health habits of their parents, family education level, and economic regions, were analyzed using McNemar’s and Chi-square tests. Within one month, 5561 valid questionnaires were retrieved from all 31 provinces or equivalent regions in mainland China. The results showed that 46.9% of students suffered from bleeding when brushing their teeth, while only 11.8% reported professional teeth cleaning at a dental clinic. Soda beverages were widely consumed among them (75.4%). A significant minority of students brushed their teeth less than twice daily (22.8%) and for about 2 minutes each time (19.3%). Only 21.9% of the students had preventive oral health care. Students’ toothbrushing habits and knowledge about interdental cleaning tools were associated with parental habits (p < 0.001). Overall, students from families with higher educational backgrounds and eastern China had better oral health habits, knowledge, and conditions. There is a need to pay more attention to gingival health and caries prevention among schoolchildren and adolescents in mainland China. Improving parental oral hygiene habits could have a positive impact on the oral health of students. Further research on oral health among students is needed in the middle and western regions of China.


Children; Adolescents; Oral health; China

Cite and Share

Ren Yang,Tianyi Tang,Sujuan Wu,Litong Wu,Lang Lei,Huang Li. Self-reported oral health habits, knowledge and conditions of schoolchildren and adolescents in mainland China. Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry. 2023.doi:10.22514/jocpd.2023.017.


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