The Florida Dental Care Study (FDCS) is a longitudinal study of changes in oral health, which included at baseline 873 subjects who had at least one tooth, were 45 years or older, and who participated for an interview and clinical examination. Two objectives of the FDCS were to: (i) describe satisfaction with chewing ability in a diverse sample of dentate adults; and (ii) quantify the associations between satisfaction with chewing ability and other measures of oral health. Approximately 16% of subjects reported that they were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their chewing ability. Bivariate and multivariate results provided consistent evidence of the construct validity of a proposed multi-dimensional model of satisfaction with chewing ability. Multiple regression analysis suggested that dissatisfaction with chewing ability was independently associated with 12 specific clinical and self-reported measures of oral disease/ tissue damage, pain, functional limitation, and disadvantage. The self-reported measures of oral health and the proposed model of satisfaction with chewing ability improve our understanding of this important oral health outcome in diverse population groups. © 1998 Blackwell Science Ltd.