Changes in Parental Perceptions of Their Care of Their Children’s Oral Health From Age 1 to 4 Years

Jeanette M. Daly, Steven M. Levy, Yinghui Xu, Richard D. Jackson, George J. Eckert, Barcey T. Levy, Margherita Fontana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction: In this 3-year longitudinal study, parent/child attended 3 dental visits and in between, parents were called every 4 months and asked if their child had visited the dentist and if fluoride varnish had been applied. Methods: Objectives were to assess changes in parents’ perceptions of how well they do in taking care of their children’s teeth and/or gums across these 3 time points (at age 1, 2.5, and 4 years), assess differences in parents’ perceptions of how well they do taking care of their children’s teeth and/or gums versus taking care of their children’s medical health, and determine factors associated with parental perceptions of how well they do in taking care of the children’s teeth and/or gums longitudinally. Results: Participant pairs (1325) were enrolled and over time there was a significant improvement in parental perceptions of their job taking care of their children’s teeth and/or gums, increasing from 86% perceiving it to be excellent/very good/good at their child’s 1 year of age to 92% at child’s age 4 years. The estimated odds of parents perceiving they provided excellent/very good/good versus fair/poor care for the children’s teeth and/or gums were higher for those who cleaned and checked inside the children’s mouth and/or gums daily (odds ratio 4.74) or took their children to the dentist yearly or twice yearly (odds ratio; 2.73). Conclusions: Parents’ perceptions of the care of their children’s teeth and/or gums improved over time. Parents consistently perceived that they provided better medical care than dental care for their child.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Primary Care and Community Health
Volume10
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

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Keywords

  • children
  • dental health
  • health promotion
  • longitudinal study
  • oral health care
  • parent perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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