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Original Research

IJHRS. 2013; 2(2): 109-115

Self-reported Awareness of Oral Health and Infant Oral Health among Pregnant Women in Mangalore, India- A Prenatal Survey

Varghese Chacko, Ramya Shenoy, Hridya E. Prasy, Sheetal Agarwal.


Background: Maternal Oral Health is known to have a significant impact on her child’s oral health. Knowledge and attitude towards oral health among pregnant women can thus be a strong predictor of not only her own oral health but also her future child’s oral health.

Objectives: The objectives of this cross–sectional survey were to evaluate knowledge and practices of pregnant women with respect their oral health, knowledge of pregnant women on Infant Oral Health and whether these parameters were influenced by maternal education level.

Materials and Methods: The research tool was a questionnaire which was completed by 175 pregnant women attending various primary health centers, private clinics and nursing homes in Mangalore. The women were divided into 2 groups namely, Group 1: included women who had an education up to high school or below & Group 2: included women who had at least a graduate qualification. Comparisons were made between group 1 & group 2. The data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics and Chi Square test.

Results: A greater percentage of women in group 2 were aware of the importance of having a dental checkup during pregnancy and benefits of Fluoride toothpaste as compared to group 1. However these differences were not statistically significant. With respect to infant oral health, women in group 2 were found to have a better knowledge with respect to the association between improper feeding practices and dental caries, and this difference was statistically significant. Women in group 2 also seemed to be more aware of the possibility of bacterial transmission from mother’s oral cavity to infant’s oral cavity and the association between children’s caries experience and their own active caries status. However these differences were not statistically significant.

Conclusion: The knowledge and practices of pregnant women with respect to oral health and infant oral health was poor and was not influenced by their level of education.

Key words: Infant Oral Health, Awareness, Pregnancy

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