Mothers' Dental Health Behaviors and Mother-Child's Dental Caries Experiences: Study of a Suburb Area in Indonesia

Diah Ayu Maharani, Anton Rahardjo

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Despite the importance of conducting regular epidemiological surveys to monitor dental health in lower socio-economic citizens especially of preschool children, only few papers werepublished respectively. The aims of this study were to describe preschool children's and their mother's dental caries experiences and to describe mothers' knowledge and behaviors' towards dental health in a suburb area near the capital city of Indonesia. The samples were 152 mother-child pairs with children age less than 5 years old. Intra oral examination by decay-missing-filling-teeth index was performed. Moreover, interviews were conducted to gain information regarding mothers’ oral health behavior and knowledge. 70% children had caries with mean dmf-t = 3.7, consisting 100% of component decay. 90% mothers had caries with DMF-T=7.8, consisting 99% of component decay. More than 50% of mothers had low knowledge and behaviors towards dental health, which comprises of: (1) never checked their children’s dental health, (2) starting to clean their child's teeth after child's age is more than 1 years old, (3) don’t know that caries is an infectious disease, (4) frequently using same feeding and drinking equipments together with their children, (5) considering deciduous teeth are not important because it will be replaced with permanent teeth anyway. It could beconcluded that the prevalence of dental caries in studied sample were high, these were relevant to the findings that the mother's knowledge and behaviors' towards dental health were low. The results of this study demonstrated that mothers might have a high contribution in their child’s caries risk. Prevention should be undertaken at an early age and actively including caregivers is essential in planning and conducting any dental health interventions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMakara Journal of Health Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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