• dental behavioral science;
  • preventive dentistry;
  • socioeconomic factors;
  • tooth-brushing

Abstract This study investigated the patterns of preventive dental behaviors, including toothbrushing, flossing, and dental visits with respect to certain selected socioeconomic characteristics, namely population density, age, family income, size of family, presence of children, and level of education. The sample of the study included 685 white American families. The results indicated that an individual's preventive dental behavior is related to certain socioeconomic characteristics. The individual who lives in an urban area, possesses a higher income or who has a higher educational level is more apt to take preventive dental actions. Among the socioeconomic variables, family income and educational level made significantly stronger differences with respect to toothbrushing, flossing, and dental visits. Dental visits, compared to other dental activities appeared to be more easily influenced by socioeconomic variables.