Community Dental Health

cover art

Cover Date:
June 2014
Print ISSN:
0265 539X

CDH June14 3257-Hosey pp75-79.pdf

Community Dental Health (2014) 31, 75–79 Received 15 July 2013; Accepted 19 December 2013

© BASCD 2014 doi:10.1922/CDH_3257Hosey05

Parental views on delivering preventive advice to children referred for treatment of dental caries under general anaesthesia: A qualitative investigation

Objectives: To: 1, Explore opinions of parents of children undergoing caries treatment under general anaesthesia (GA) regarding delivery of oral health advice; 2, Discover current oral health practices and beliefs; 3, Inform further research and action. Methods: Qualitative study using semi-structured interviews and thematic data analysis, sampling parents of children aged 3-10 years undergoing GA tooth extraction due to dental caries. Results: Twenty nine parents were interviewed (mean age 38.9 years, range 28-50, sd 6.4). The mean age of their children was seven years (range 3-10, sd 2.1). All children required deciduous tooth extractions (5.1 teeth on average). Those that also required permanent tooth extractions had on average 2.1 permanent teeth extracted. Many parents knew the importance of oral hygiene and sugar limitation, describing it as ‘general knowledge’ and ‘common sense’. However, few understood that fruit juice is potentially cariogenic. Parenting challenges seemed to restrict their ability to control the child’s diet and establish oral hygiene. Many reported not previously receiving oral health advice and reported never having fluoride varnish applied. There were requests for more caries prevention information and advice via the internet, schools or video games. Conclusion: Parental oral health knowledge, parenting skills, and previous advice received seem to all be issues related to the oral health of those children. Providing advice, especially in respect to fruit juice cariogenicity and the benefits of fluoride application through a child-friendly website, including a video game, as well as the use of school programmes might be an acceptable approach.

Key words: early childhood caries, prevention, parental views, qualitative research, diet, sugar, fruit juice

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A.K. Aljafari, S. Scambler, J.E. Gallagher, M.T. Hosey

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