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Assessing the knowledge and awareness concerning prevention of early childhood caries among pregnant mothers attending yenepoya medical and dental college hospital

Author: 
Dr. ShenoyShaileshRamdas, Dr. RakshaBallal, K., Dr. Sham. S. Bhat, Dr. MushaqueerHussain, K. I. and Dr. Mallikarjunaragher
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Objectives: To determine and assess the oral health knowledge and awareness of early childhood caries (ECC) and its prevention among the pregnant mothers. Methodology: About 110 mothers were interviewed combined with questionnaires. The interview and questionnaires composed of questions about family demographics, personal oral health and hygiene measures, causes of ECC as per their purview and earlier knowledge, breast feeding and bottle feeding practices, types of food, level of dental care and hygiene practices of both mother and children, preventive methods of ECC, oral health awareness educational programs attended, if any, and knowledge regarding oral hygiene measures. Results: 95 % of the mothers were from low socioeconomic status and low educational status. None of them knew about fluoride and its role in teeth and bones. Nor anyone knew about mother - to - child transmission of S.mutans. Majority of them were not aware about mother’s oral hygiene importance during pregnancy. However all knew that sugars and starchy foods are dietary cause of dental caries. Low level of education, low family income, and having more children, were significantly correlated with knowledge regarding infant oral health and dental care. The knowledge and awarenwess of ECC prevention was poor and unsatisfactory. Conclusion: Intensified mother and infant oral health care educational programmes (including home visits) is of utmost necessity and importance. Gynaecologists and pediatricians also have a very important role in these aspects of prevention of ECC.

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