Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Should we brush twice a day? Determinants of dental health among young adults in Finland


Author Info

  • Lien Nguyen

    (Centre for Health Economics - CHESS, National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health (STAKES), Lintulahdenkuja 4, Helsinki, Finland)

  • Unto Häkkinen

    (Centre for Health Economics - CHESS, National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health (STAKES), Lintulahdenkuja 4, Helsinki, Finland)

  • Matti Knuuttila

    (Oral and Maxillofacial Department, Oulu University Hospital, Aapistie 3, University of Oulu, Finland)

  • Marjo-Riitta Järvelin
Registered author(s):


    We explore the determinants of dental ill-health as measured by the occurrence of caries. A recursive bivariate probit model that was derived from health production and demand theory is employed to model caries, while taking account of dental care use. The data are from a follow-up questionnaire used in a longitudinal study of the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort, with respondents aged 31 (n = 5020). The factors controlled for relate to family background and health behavior during their youth, current socioecononomic variables and dental health stock. The total effects on the occurrence of caries of the explanatory variables are computed. Among females, factors increasing caries are body mass index and intake of alcohol, sugar and soft drinks, and those reducing caries are birth weight and adolescent school achievement. Among males, caries is positively related to the metropolitan residence and negatively related to education and healthy diet. Smoking increases caries, whereas dental care use, regular dental attendance and brushing teeth at least twice a day decrease caries. To promote oral health, attention should focus on policies to improve dental health education and to reduce the impacts of common risk factors. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL:
    File Function: Link to full text; subscription required
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

    Volume (Year): 17 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 267-286

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:17:y:2008:i:2:p:267-286

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page:

    Related research



    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Harri Sintonen & Timo Maljanen, 1995. "Explaining the utilisation of dental care. Experiences from the finnish dental market," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 4(6), pages 453-466, November.
    2. Yule, Brian & Parkin, David, 1985. "The demand for dental care: An assessment," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 21(7), pages 753-760, January.
    3. Leigh, J. Paul, 1983. "Direct and indirect effects of education on health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 227-234, January.
    4. Grossman, Michael, 2006. "Education and Nonmarket Outcomes," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier, Elsevier.
    5. Robert A. Shakotko & Linda N. Edwards & Michael Grossman, 1980. "An Exploration of the Dynamic Relationship between Health and Cognitive Development in Adolescence," NBER Working Papers 0454, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Sintonen, Harri & Linnosmaa, Ismo, 2000. "Economics of dental services," Handbook of Health Economics, Elsevier, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 24, pages 1251-1296 Elsevier.
    7. Sintonen, Harri & Tuominen, Risto, 1989. "Exploring the determinants of periodontal treatment costs: A special focus on cigarette smoking," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 29(7), pages 835-844, January.
    8. Karvonen, Sakari & Rimpelä, Arja, 1996. "Socio-regional context as a determinant of adolescents' health behaviour in Finland," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 43(10), pages 1467-1474, November.
    9. Lien Nguyen & Unto Häkkinen, 2006. "Choices and utilization in dental care," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 99-106, June.
    10. Hay, Joel W. & Bailit, Howard & Chiriboga, Douglas A., 1982. "The demand for dental health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 16(13), pages 1285-1289, January.
    11. Unto Häkkinen & Marjo-Riitta Järvelin & Gunnar Rosenqvist & Jaana Laitinen, 2006. "Health, schooling and lifestyle among young adults in Finland," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(11), pages 1201-1216.
    12. Martin Schellhorn & Andreas E. Stuck & Christoph E. Minder & John C. Beck, 2000. "Health services utilization of elderly Swiss: evidence from panel data," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(6), pages 533-545.
    13. Smith, Richard J & Blundell, Richard W, 1986. "An Exogeneity Test for a Simultaneous Equation Tobit Model with an Application to Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 679-85, May.
    14. Grytten, Jostein & Holst, Dorthe & Laake, Peter, 1990. "Supplier inducement : Its effect on dental services in Norway," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 483-491, December.
    15. Contoyannis, Paul & Jones, Andrew M., 2004. "Socio-economic status, health and lifestyle," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 965-995, September.
    16. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
    17. Hugh R. Waters, 1999. "Measuring the impact of health insurance with a correction for selection bias-a case study of Ecuador," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(5), pages 473-483.
    18. Michael Grossman, 1972. "The Demand for Health: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros72-1.
    19. Chen, Meei-Shia & Hunter, Peter, 1996. "Oral health and quality of life in New Zealand: A social perspective," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 43(8), pages 1213-1222, October.
    20. Paul Contoyannis & Andrew M. Jones & Nigel Rice, 2004. "The dynamics of health in the British Household Panel Survey," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4), pages 473-503.
    21. Manishi Prasad & Peter Wahlqvist & Rich Shikiar & Ya-Chen Tina Shih, 2004. "A," PharmacoEconomics, Springer Healthcare | Adis, Springer Healthcare | Adis, vol. 22(4), pages 225-244.
    22. Propper, Carol, 2000. "The demand for private health care in the UK," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 855-876, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)



    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


    Access and download statistics


    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:17:y:2008:i:2:p:267-286. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.