Knowledge and attitude of Saudi mothers towards their preschool children's oral health

Pak J Med Sci. 2014 Jul;30(4):720-4. doi: 10.12669/pjms.304.5069.

Abstract

Objectives: To determine knowledge and attitude of Saudi mothers towards their preschool children's oral health.

Methods: One hundred and one mothers (of children aged 16 to 40 months) attending well-baby clinics at Security Forces Hospital Polyclinics in Makkah Al-Mukarrama participated in the study. A questionnaire was used to collect the required information.

Results: A great majority (92.1%) of the mothers agreed that "baby teeth are important for child's general health. Similarly, 90.1% of the mothers agreed that "using fluoridated toothpaste helps to prevent tooth decay". About four in every ten mothers (43.6%) agreed that a child should be allowed to use a bottle at-will when he/she becomes able to hold it. More than half of the mothers (54.5%) agreed that letting baby sleep with bottle still in the mouth was of no harm to teeth. A significantly (p=0.04) higher percentage of high Socioeconomic status (SES) mothers as compared to middle SES mothers (85.9% versus 55.6%) agreed that "frequent feeding with milk or milk formula is of no harm to baby's teeth". A significantly (p=003) higher percentage of the middle SES mothers as compared to high SES mothers (66.7% versus 17.4%) agreed that a child should only visit a dentist in case of a dental pain/problem.

Conclusions: The mothers need to be educated in several important areas related to feeding, diet and first dental check-up visit of their children.

Keywords: Attitude; Knowledge; Mothers; Oral health; Preschoolers.