Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Health Science

First Advisor

Mr. Erik Mutterer

Second Advisor

Mrs. Jamie Turgeon-Drake

Third Advisor

Mrs. Carissa Regnerus


Oral Health, College Students, Survey, Midwestern University, College Lifestyle


A correlation exists between one’s oral health and overall general health. However, research suggests that college students participate in behaviors that compromise their oral health. Studies have shown that many college students forgo a healthy diet, and many increase their tobacco and alcohol use in college. There is a decline in the frequency of college students receiving an annual dental exam and cleaning. A survey was distributed at the University of South Dakota (USD) to explore the possible relationship between a college lifestyle and oral health at a public, Midwestern university. The survey was intended to better understand the oral health of students and their oral health risk factor usage, as well as determine awareness of the USD dental hygiene clinic. By better understanding the current practices of college students, the hope is that changes can be made to improve the oral health of students. Additionally, increasing awareness of the effects of oral health on the body, as well as dental hygiene services available, can be beneficial in educating students. With college being formative years for one’s health habits, it is essential that students practice proper oral hygiene.



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