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J Oral Sci. 2011 Sep;53(3):313-9.

Associations between oral health behavior and anxiety about water fluoridation and motivation to establish water fluoridation in Japanese residents.

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  • 1Department of Community Dentistry and Public Health, Tsurumi University. Yokohama, Japan.


Since 1972, community water fluoridation programs have not been practiced in Japan. Risk perception among the population plays an important role in the implementation of water fluoridation programs. The oral health behavior of Japanese children has changed, especially due to recent increases among children in the use of fluoridated products and fluoride applications by dentists. The purpose of this study was to examine the associations between oral health behavior, risk perception, and the desire to implement water fluoridation among Japanese residents. We distributed a questionnaire survey (response rate: 92.8%) to mothers with children aged two or three years (n = 573). There was a correlation between anxiety and level of motivation to implement water fluoridation (Spearman coefficient: 0.355, P < 0.001). Exposure to various fluoride experiences was higher in the "not anxious" group. The motivation level was significantly higher in subjects who had a better understanding of the effectiveness of fluoride, those who used fluoride tooth paste, and those whose children received fluoride applications from dentists. We conclude that increased knowledge of and experience with fluoride might help decrease the perception of risk and increase motivation for implementing water fluoridation among the general public.

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