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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 28-34

Attitude and awareness of expectant and lactating mothers toward infant oral health care in North Indian subpopulation: A cross-sectional study

1 Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Post Graduate Institute of Dental Sciences, Rohtak, India
2 Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, D.A.V. (c) Dental College, Yamunanagar, Haryana, India
3 Department of Orthodontics, Post Graduate Institute of Dental Sciences, Rohtak, India
4 Department of Prosthodontics, Post Graduate Institute of Dental Sciences, Rohtak, India

Correspondence Address:
Ayushi Jindal
H. No. 536, Sector 17, HUDA, Yamuna Nagar, Haryana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjos.SJOralSci_27_17

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Introduction: Mothers play a key role in adoption of preventive strategies for an improved oral health in the first few crucial years of life of infants and young children. The purpose of the study is 2 folds: (1) to evaluate and compare the awareness and attitude (Aw-At) levels between expectant and lactating mothers toward infant oral health care and (2) to analyze the influence of maternal sociodemographic variables on their Aw-At levels toward infant oral health care. Materials and Methods: A total of 500 expectant and lactating mothers visiting the outpatient department of the government hospital in Rohtak, India, were randomly selected and interviewed through a 27-item self-designed, structured questionnaire. Mann–Whitney, Kruskal–Wallis, and Chi-square tests were applied for assessment and comparison. Results: Lactating mothers scored significantly higher than expectant mothers (P = 0.004) in awareness levels. Awareness score of mothers (26–35 years old) was also significantly higher than the younger ones (P = 0.002). Urban group had a higher attitude score than rural group mothers (P = 0.002). Working mothers scored more in both Aw-At scores (P < 0.001). The awareness scores also increased significantly with increase in educational qualification (P < 0.001) and parity of mothers. Conclusion: The study had found low awareness levels toward infant oral health care but a positive attitude among mothers. Hence, it is suggested to increase this to ensure optimal dental health for themselves and their children by educating and motivating the mothers, providing prenatal counseling, anticipatory guidance, referral by the medical personnel, and most importantly, establishing the concept of dental home.

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