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J Public Health Dent. 2011 Spring;71(2):131-5.

Perspectives of Maryland women regarding oral health during pregnancy and early childhood.

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Children's Dental Health Project, Washington, DC 20036, USA.



The objective of this qualitative study was to obtain information on low-income women's knowledge, beliefs, and practices regarding oral heath during pregnancy and for infant care.


A professional focus group moderator conducted four focus groups (n=34) among low-income women in Maryland who were either pregnant or had children aged two and younger. Purposeful sampling and qualitative content analysis were employed.


Women were reasonably well informed about oral health practices for themselves and their children; however, important myths and misperceptions were common. Several themes emerged; a central one being that most women had not received oral health information in time to apply it according to recommended practice.


The focus groups with low-income women provided rich and insightful information and implications for future communication strategies to help prevent dental diseases among pregnant women and their infants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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