Parents’ Behavior as an Indicator for Children’s Oral Health
Keywords:Parental knowledge, Attitude, Behavior, Children’s oral health
Objective: Children are exceptional imitators of the surrounding people in the early childhood period. They use imitation as a mechanism in cognitive development. This study was designed to assess the effect of parents' oral health Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice (KAP), socioeconomic status, occupational type, and educational level on their children`s oral health status in Sulaimani city.
Methods: A prospective cross-sectional study was conducted on a sample of 490 children at the mixed dentition stage. They were examined for oral health status with dmft and DMFT indices following WHO criteria at different Pedodontics clinics in the city. Oral Health Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice, in addition to the parent's socioeconomic status and educational level, were assessed through a structured questionnaire.
Results: Statistical analysis demonstrated that children’s dmft/DMFT scores were strongly and positively associated with their parents` KAP, socioeconomic status, and educational level. Furthermore, the marital status of the parents had a direct impact on the children's oral health. Additionally, children of parents in the medical profession were presented with significantly better oral health.
Conclusions: Oral health of the children represented by dmft/DMFT scores were significantly affected by the KAP, educational level, profession type, and marital status of their parents. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to consider the parents in children’s oral health improvements.
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