OBJECTIVES The purpose of this study was to identify factors influencing the motivation for regular dental check-ups and anxiety about future dental problems in the elderly. BACKGROUND Regular dental check-ups are important to maintain oral health. Anxiety affects the quality of life of the elderly. However, few studies have investigated the factors influencing the motivation for regular dental check-ups and anxiety in the elderly. MATERIALS AND METHODS Among 452 elderly persons, 215 participants provided useful answers to our questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of items concerning oral and living conditions of the subjects. Logistic regression analysis was conducted. RESULTS The mean age of the study sample was 75.7 +/- 5.8 years. The percentage of edentulous subjects was 12.1%. The motivation for regular dental check-ups was significantly positively correlated with the number of teeth present (p < 0.01), using inter-dental brushes (p < 0.01), being on regular prescribed medication (p < 0.05), and having experience of providing oral care for the bedridden (p < 0.05). Anxiety about future oral problems was significantly associated with self-rated health status (p < 0.01) and the presence of dentists who could be counted on to provide domiciliary visits (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION The participants of this study had a high motivation for regular dental check-ups, but were concerned about the future, particularly if they became bedridden.