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Attitude and knowledge of Anganwadi workers of Mangalore city towards early childhood caries

Author: 
Dr. Oommen, N. M. and Dr. Shetty, S.
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Aim: An Anganwadi worker (AWW) can be a vital link in the health care delivery system as she provides a package of services to mothers and children. Oral health knowledge among these workers is an integral component of preventing early childhood caries (ECC). The present study is aimed to assess the existing knowledge of early childhood oral health related factors among anganwadi workers. Materials and Methods: A questionnaire based survey was conducted among AWW in Mangalore city, India. The study involved face to face interviews and the response to a pretested 15 item questionnaire was recorded. 100 AWW participated in the study and responded to the questionnaire. Results: Of the100 respondents, 43% knew the right age for the child to visit the dentist while 57% were not aware. 53% of the respondents thought that it was fine to put the baby to sleep with bottle containing fluid. The major drawback was that 89% of the participants didn’t know what was fluoride which is a major constituent in the prevention of dental caries. Conclusion: Our study concluded that AWWs showed some degree of knowledge about certain aspects of ECC. The knowledge however appeared to be inconsistent. We recommend that AWWs need to be educated by conducting periodic oral health education programs, which will increase their awareness about ECC.

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