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Keywords

College students; Dental health

Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this study is to investigate the dental health seeking practices of US college students. Participants: The total number of college students who participated in the ACHA-NCHA survey from 2000-2013 was 1,201,531. Methods: The data requested were the demographic questions and the dental health question from both the ACHA-NCHA I and II. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 20. Results: The percentage of students who reported having a dental exam and cleaning in the last year averaged 76.6% in this study period of time. However, dental health care declined annually following their freshman year. More females have had an annual dental visit than have male students. Caucasian students overwhelmingly have had a visit to a dentist in the previous year as compared to their fellow students who are from minority populations. International students are in need of being connected to dentists in the city where the university is located. More students attending public universities have had dental care in the previous year compared to those attending a private university. Students attending 4 year universities are more likely to have had dental care in the previous year than students attending a 2 year college. Conclusions: While we now know that many college students have dental exams and cleanings, there is still need for dental health education in all college student populations, especially minority and international students. What is not known are the dental and oral health habits of college students and this needs to be determined by future research.