Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Saudi Parents Towards Their Children's Oral Health: An Online Questionnaire Survey

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  •   Malaz Mohamed Elrafie Mustafa

  •   Ebtehaj Saleh Albeshri

  •   Mashael Khaled Althobati

Abstract

Children's oral health is of paramount importance as it governs the oral health status of the upcoming generation. Their oral hygiene is a vital part of general childcare. This under-appraised issue is often neglected by young parents, which can result in poor children's oral health. Aim: To assess standard knowledge, attitude and behavior of Saudi parents pertaining to the oral health of their young children. Materials and Methods: a prospective cross-sectional online survey was conducted in Saudi Arabia in 2017. The questionnaire included a total of 16 questions which were divided into two parts; the first part asked about parents' general information such as the name, age, gender, educational level, occupation and total family income. The second part included questions related to knowledge, attitude and practices toward children on selected oral health issues. Results: 1038 Saudi parents responded to the online questionnaire (70% Females and 30% male). Majority Saudi parents recognized many preventive dental aspects like importance of early acquisition of tooth brushing, avoidance of caries-related diet and nocturnal on demand breast feeding. Seventy three percent were convinced that it is better to take their children to a specialized pediatric dentist rather than a general dental practitioner. However, it was revealed that there was limited knowledge and awareness of Saudi parents about the significance of the routine dental checkups, ideal timing of first dental visit and importance of topical fluoride. Hypothetical myths and social beliefs associated with dental treatment like endodontic treatment were common; creating barriers to early preventive and curative dental care of young Saudi children. Conclusion: Parents were found to have inadequate knowledge in regard to oral health of their young children. The present research points to a need for enhanced dental education of parents, particularly in planning for their children's first visit and effect of prolonged on-demand at night breast feeding on development of early childhood caries. Community based oral health programs are required in order to raise parents' awareness regarding their children's oral health.


Keywords: Knowledge, attitude, oral health practices, Parents.

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How to Cite
Mustafa, M., Albeshri, E., & Althobati, M. (2019). Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Saudi Parents Towards Their Children’s Oral Health: An Online Questionnaire Survey. European Journal of Medical and Health Sciences, 1(4). https://doi.org/10.24018/ejmed.2019.1.4.81