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Pediatr Dent. 2009 Sep-Oct;31(5):395-404.

Mexican American mothers' initiation and understanding of home oral hygiene for young children.

Author information

  • 1Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To investigate caregiver beliefs and behaviors as key issues in the initiation of home oral hygiene routines. Oral hygiene helps reduce the prevalence of early childhood caries, which is disproportionately high among Mexican-American children.

METHODS:

Interviews were conducted with a convenience sample of 48 Mexican-American mothers of young children in a low income, urban neighborhood. Interviews were digitally recorded, translated, transcribed, coded and analyzed using standard qualitative procedures.

RESULTS:

The average age of tooth brushing initiation was 1.8 +/- 0.8 years; only a small proportion of parents (13%) initiated oral hygiene in accord with American Dental Association (ADA) recommendations. Mothers initiated 2 forms of oral hygiene: infant oral hygiene and regular tooth brushing. For the 48% of children who participated in infant oral hygiene, mothers were prompted by pediatrician and social service (WIC) professionals. For regular tooth brushing initiation, a set of maternal beliefs exist about when this oral hygiene practice becomes necessary for children. Beliefs are mainly based on a child's dental maturity, interest, capacity and age/size.

CONCLUSIONS:

Most (87%) of the urban Mexican-American mothers in the study do not initiate oral hygiene practices in compliance with ADA recommendations. These findings have implications for educational messages.

PMID:
19947134
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3523181
Free PMC Article
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