Influence of mothers' oral health knowledge and attitudes on their children's dental health.Eur Arch Paediatr Dent. 2008 Jun; 9(2):79-83.EA
This was to evaluate the influence of mothers' oral health-related knowledge and attitudes on the tooth-brushing behaviour and dental health of their children and to compare the effect of these maternal aspects on child's oral health.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS
In 2005, an oral health study conducted among a random sample of 457 mother and child pairs in Tehran, Iran, used self-administered questionnaires to provide data on mothers' oral health-related knowledge and attitudes and children's tooth-brushing behaviour. Clinical data allowed assessment of dental status of the primary and permanent dentition.
Chi-square test and binary logistic regression models were employed.
Generally, mothers had extensive knowledge of and positive attitudes towards oral health. Mothers' higher level of oral health knowledge and better attitude scores were associated with children's sound dentition (p<0.05), while only mothers' better attitude was associated with children's twice-daily tooth brushing (p=0.001). The multivariate analyses showed that children of mothers with higher attitude scores were more likely to brush their teeth twice daily (OR = 2.1; 95% CI 1.2 - 3.7) and have sound dentition (OR = 12.4; 95% CI 1.8 - 85.9). The models revealed that mother's knowledge per se had no effect on children's sound dental health, but showed an additive effect with mother's attitudes.
Because twice-daily tooth-brushing behaviour and sound dentition in 9-year-olds were associated with their mothers' positive oral health-related attitudes, in developing oral health promotion programs for children and adolescents, the considerable potential of mothers should be a major focus of oral health professionals.