Older Floridians (mean age 78 years) were interviewed regarding their use of dental care, attitudes toward dental care, and other characteristics hypothesized as being explanatory of dental care use. Fifty-two percent of respondents reported having been to a dentist within the past year, and 31% had not been within the previous 5 years. Five constructs measured attitudes toward dental care and dental health: (a) the importance placed on regular dental care and oral hygiene, (b) the importance of avoiding tobacco to prevent oral cancer, (c) the value of dental care, (d) negative aspects of dental care, and (e) satisfaction with the last dental visit. In a multivariate model, the value of dental care and impxxortance of regular care and oral hygiene were significantly correlated with dental care use. These findings are consistent with the conclusion that attitudes contribute to understanding dental care use in later life, a contribution that is independent of the direct effects of socioeconomic status and dentate status. © 1994, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.