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Oral Health and Preventive Dentistry



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Oral Health Prev Dent 12 (2014), No. 2     3. June 2014
Oral Health Prev Dent 12 (2014), No. 2  (03.06.2014)

Page 133-140, doi:10.3290/j.ohpd.a31667, PubMed:24624393

Mothers' Behaviours and Knowledge Related to Caries Experience of Their Children
Begzati, Agim / Bytyci, Ariana / Meqa, Kastriot / Latifi-Xhemajli, Blerta / Berisha, Merita
Purpose: Insufficient attention paid by public institutions to primary oral health protection measures has contributed to a poor oral health status in Kosovo, especially in children. Because the oral health promotion activities identified the significant roles of mothers in primary prevention, the aim of this study was to determine the level of knowledge and the behaviour of mothers in connection with the caries experience of their children.
Materials and Methods: 664 of the mothers who accompanied their children to dental visits were interviewed and data on maternal knowledge and attitudes towards the oral health of preschool children were collected. The children underwent dental examination and the dmft index was recorded.
Results: The mean dmft index in all children was 6.30 ± 3.23. A high prevalence of early childhood caries was recorded. The highest mean dmft was recorded for children whose mothers had finished primary and secondary school (6.41 ± 3.36 and 6.62 ± 2.87, respectively). The mothers displayed insufficient knowledge regarding dental visits, feeding, oral hygiene maintenance and the utilisation of fluoride/antimicrobial agents.
Conclusions: The results of this study show that the level of knowledge about oral health among interviewed mothers is very low to nonexistent. Mothers need to be educated and encouraged that they are a key factor in improving the oral health habits of their children. Since caries represents a serious public health problem in Kosovo, an overall preventive programme for oral health promotion is needed, including the oral health education of mothers.

Keywords: caries experience of preschool children, mothers' knowledge, oral health education