Background: Individuals with special needs (IWSN) are susceptible to oral conditions such as caries and periodontal disease. In order to improve oral health of IWSN, it is important to improve the oral health literacy (OHL) of caregivers, as they play an important role in the daily hygiene and personal care of these people. Objective: This study aimed to analyze the OHL in caregivers of IWSN in special schools (informal caregivers) and social institutions for people with disabilities (professional caregivers) in Jakarta, Indonesia. Methods: The study was conducted with a cross-sectional and descriptive analytic design with a cluster sampling method of 400 informal and professional caregivers. The study utilized the validated Health Literacy Dentistry-Indonesian Version (HeLD-ID) questionnaire to measure OHL. Quantitative data was analyzed using non-parametric Kruskal Wallis and Mann Whitney tests (significant level p < 0.05). Results: The median total OHL score of respondents was 3.14 (0.24–4) for informal caregivers and 3.21 (0–4) for professional caregivers. The OHL score of the two populations showed significant differences in the domains of receptivity (p = 0.036), understanding (p = 0.030), and economic barriers (p = 0.022). Significant differences in OHL scores were also noted among caregivers according to their sociodemographic characteristics, such as level of education, and number of IWSN handled. Conclusion: Informal and professional caregivers in this study showed good level of OHL. To elucidate the relationship between caregiver’s level of OHL with IWSN, further study is necessary.
- health status
- individuals with special needs
- oral health literacy
- special care dentistry