Assessment of Parental Knowledge and Attitude Regarding Oral Health Status of their Children in District Mirpurkhas Sindh, Pakistan
Faryal Manzoor, Zafar Iqbal, Khalil Ahmed, Umer Khayyam, Permanand Malhi, Madiha Khalid
Objective: To find out the relationship of parental knowledge and attitude towards their child’s oral habits and health status, and to assess whether educational status of parents plays an important role for child’s regular dental checkup.
Study Setting: Department of Community and Preventive Dentistry, Bhitai Dental and Medical College, Mirpurkhas.
Study design: Cross-sectional survey
Duration: Six months from February 2019 to July 2019
Methodology: Parents of primary school aged and preschool children aged 4 to 10 years and 6 months to 4 years respectively were included. The parents were selected from a public dental OPD of Dental College. A closed-ended self-designed questionnaire was used, which included 31 questions. Personal information of study subjects were assessed including demographic information, their children's. The awareness and attitude of parents toward oral health were evaluated. Brushing frequency and time, as well as sweet consumption habits, were all recorded as part of the child's oral hygiene status and habits. Statistical data analysis was performed using SPSS 16 version.
Results: Most parents (56.5 %) were graduates or had a higher degree and were from a middle-class family (63%). The oral health awareness level among parents was relatively high. Over three-quarters of parents (74-95%) had positive attitudes toward factors that are critical for maintaining oral health. However, most of parents (89%) were either bottle feeding their children in their sleep or have done so in the past. Despite the parents' high degree of knowledge, 52% of children were still not brushing two times daily and were excessively consuming sweets (73%). Despite their highly positive attitudes, the parents claimed that their children were even now struggling with oral diseases, however low prevalence was recorded (19-33 %). There was a significant association between education and income (P=0.053). The relationship between parents' socioeconomic background and their awareness and attitudes was not particularly significant.
Conclusion: Children appeared to be continually engaged in behaviors that were detrimental to their oral hygiene. Parents claimed that their children's dental health was adequate and that no dental care was needed, however the parents were possibly unaware of the progression of disease. Socioeconomic and educational status was associated to the level of attitude and awareness of parents.
Key words: Parental knowledge, child’s oral health, attitude, regular dental checkup