Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Influence of Parents’ Oral Health Knowledge and Attitudes on Oral Health Practices of Children (5-12 Years) in a Rural School in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa: A Cross Sectional Survey

Version 1 : Received: 20 May 2020 / Approved: 21 May 2020 / Online: 21 May 2020 (04:01:10 CEST)

How to cite: Neupaul, P.; Mahomed, O. Influence of Parents’ Oral Health Knowledge and Attitudes on Oral Health Practices of Children (5-12 Years) in a Rural School in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa: A Cross Sectional Survey. Preprints 2020, 2020050335 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202005.0335.v1). Neupaul, P.; Mahomed, O. Influence of Parents’ Oral Health Knowledge and Attitudes on Oral Health Practices of Children (5-12 Years) in a Rural School in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa: A Cross Sectional Survey. Preprints 2020, 2020050335 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202005.0335.v1).

Abstract

Introduction: Oral health knowledge, beliefs and attitudes of parents have a direct influence on their child’s oral health maintenance, dietary habits and encourage healthy behaviors. The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge, and attitude of parents with regards to the oral health practice of their children and its associated factors. Methods: A self -administered structured questionnaire was administered to parents or guardians of learners aged 5 to 12 years at a low socio-economic rural primary school in the uGu district, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa to collect demographic variables, knowledge of dental health, use of toothbrush, use of toothpaste, dietary practices and dental visits; practice with respect to dental care and attitudes towards oral health. The questionnaire was translated from English to IsiZulu was used. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regressions were used to assess the association between parent’s sociodemographic factors with their oral health knowledge and practice scores. Results: One hundred and forty four completed survey instruments were received with an eighty percent (118) representation of mothers. Ninety five percent of the parents (136) had a positive attitude towards oral health with 86% (124) of the children brushed their tongue and 89% (128) of the children brushed their teeth happily. The mean knowledge score was 70% with a median of 72%. Children were significantly more likely to brush their tongues (AOR: 3.20 95% CI: 1.06-9.66) and were more likely to be happier when brushing their teeth (AOR: 4.65 95% CI: 1.41-15.38) when the caregivers were their mothers, and when parents had an above average knowledge score (AOR: 1.86 95% CI: 0.72-4.85) and had positive attitudes (AOR: 3.20 95%CI: 0.46-22.00). Conclusion: To reduce the gaps in knowledge, oral health promotion should be integrated into all point of care contact with parents at health facilities, increased community awareness and advertising campaigns as well as a more focused school health oral program that addresses primary prevention, screening and appropriate referrals to health facilities

Subject Areas

knowledge; attitude; practice; children’s oral health practice; school going children; rural area

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