Abstract Background: The recent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
pandemic has strongly affected the young population, with a significant
impact on their mental health, lifestyle, and sleep. The aim of the
present study was to explore the effects of COVID-19 on oral health and
general hygiene habits in an undergraduate medical school population.
Methods: A total of 500 participants, including pre-graduate students
from the School of Medicine with a mean age of 22.84 ± 2.68 years
completed an anonymous web survey. Of these, 200 belonged to the schools
of dental hygiene and dentistry and 300 belonged to the medical school.
Results: Students suffered from increased stress and emotional distress,
which led to an increase in weight in 48.6% of the subjects. A
reduction in personal and dental hygiene (8% and 4%, respectively) was
observed. Students in dentistry and dental hygiene courses were more
careful about their dental hygiene. Students from the dentistry and
dental hygiene courses reported an increase in the use of chlorhexidine
mouthwash during quarantine (+ 15%). Conclusion: Pandemic-related
stress has affected the youth, with an increase in unhealthy lifestyle
and changes in dental hygiene habits. Strong action must be taken to
promote good oral hygiene habits and a healthy lifestyle among the
general population during the COVID-19 pandemic.