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Evaluating infant oral health care knowledge and awareness among nursing mothers in Hubli-Dharwad city: A questionnaire study

Author: 
Prashant Battepati, B. Apurva Rao, Anand Tavargeri, Rajesh T Anegundi, Shruthi Patil and Vijay Trasad
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Dental caries according to Center for Disease Control and Prevention is a chronic and preventive disease which is 32 times more likely to occur in infants of low socioeconomic status, whose mothers have a low education level, and who consume sugary foods (Alshehri et al., 2015). Oral health care therefore, in infancy itself is the foundation on which a life time of preventive education and dental care can be built up in order to help acquire optimal oral health. The first step of infant oral health care is the preventive oral health behavior of parents since they would influence their children’s behaviour in adapting to the preventive oral health practices as they grow along. Mothers are undoubtedly the primary source of early education in children with regard to a good oral health. It is also an important aspect of general health in infants and children as it impacts the quality of life and health outcomes. Hence, timely delivery of educational information to nursing mothers whose infants are at high risk for developing caries is the ultimate goal of early assessment aiding in implementation of preventive strategies. This study was done to assess the nursing mother’s knowledge and awareness about the oral health of their infants. The study was conducted at a local medical college and hospital through an 18-item questionnaire which was distributed among 150 nursing mothers of Hubli-Dharwad region by the researcher. Response was recorded by likert and multiple choice questions written in both English and Kannada. The results were analysed using Pearson chi-square test. The study showed that people lacked awareness about important oral hygiene measures. Although The parents with their lack of awareness about the pedodontist, had a fair idea about oral hygiene maintenance among infants. This knowledge can be further improved by conducting ‘oral health care awareness programs’. They are very important to secure healthy oral condition among infants. Therefore, acummulative effort by both the medical and dental health care professionals should be initiated towards achieving it.

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