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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 605-612

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

Discipline of Public Health Medicine, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ozayr Mahomed
227 George Campbell Building, Howard College Campus, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.
South Africa
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jispcd.JISPCD_273_20

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Context: Oral health knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes of parents have a direct influence on their child’s oral health maintenance, dietary habits, and oral health behaviors. Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge, and attitude of parents with regard to the oral health practice of their children and its associated factorsMaterial and Methods: A self-administered structured questionnaire was administered to parents or guardians of learners aged 5–12 years at a low socioeconomic rural primary school in the Ugu district, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. In addition to 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 toward oral health were requested. Results: One hundred and forty-four completed survey instruments were received with an 80% (118) representation of mothers. Ninety-five percent of the parents (136) had a positive attitude toward 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%. Children were significantly more likely to brush their tongues (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]: 3.20 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.06–9.66 P < 0.001), be happier when brushing their teeth (AOR: 4.65 95% CI: 1.41–15.38 P < 0.001) when the caregivers were their mothers, had an above-average knowledge score (AOR: 1.86 95% CI: 0.72–4.85) and positive attitudes (AOR: 3.20 95%CI: 0.46–22.00). Conclusion: Parents in the rural community have satisfactory knowledge and a positive attitude toward oral health and children display good practices; however, there are a number of gaps noted in overall parental knowledge.

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