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Acta Odontol Scand. 2010 Jan;68(1):49-56. doi: 10.3109/00016350903364926.

Tracking of parents' attitudes to their children's oral health-related behavior-Oslo, Norway, 2002-04.

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  • 1Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Institute of Clinical Odontology-Pedodontics, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.



To investigate dental beliefs and attitudes of a diverse group of parents from their children when they were aged 3 and 5 years old and to identify possible mediators for a group composed of the parents with the most negative dental attitudes.


Data were collected by parental questionnaire when the children were aged 3 years in 2002 and again 2 years later. The inclusion criteria were children with mothers from Norway (N group) or non-Western countries (IM(1) group). Questionnaires were extensive and had previously been used in a multicenter study. Three composite attitudinal variables relating to oral hygiene, diet and parental indulgence were calculated and an "attitudinal risk group" identified. The association between those variables and the assignment to the group was measured by odds ratio (bivariate and multiple logistic regression).


The N parents' dental attitudes were significantly more positive in 2004 when their children were 5 years old than when they were 3 years old (p < 0.0001), but this was not the case among immigrant parents. "Education" and "Immigrant status" [odds ratio (OR) 3.3, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.6-7.0; and OR 2.8, CI 1.1-7.3, respectively] were significantly associated with the defined "attitudinal risk group".


Only dental attitudes among N parents were significantly more positive in 2004 than in 2002. Not having higher education and being of non-Western background were associated with belonging to the "attitudinal risk group". Culturally tailored programs of dental health education are needed to promote more positive attitudes to oral health.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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