Parents? and Caregivers? Knowledge and Perception towards the use of Fluoridated Toothpaste in Children
Author(s): Haifa AlAmro*, Meshal Alwadi, Khalid Alrehaili, Ali Alotaibi, Rayan Alkadi, Abdulaziz Alomran and Abdullah Alhussain
Background: Caries affect children in many aspects. Lack of parental knowledge and poor oral hygiene attitudes are known to have a substantial effect on children’s oral health status. Objective: The study aimed to evaluate parents’ and caregivers’ knowledge and perception of the use of fluoridated toothpaste, as well as the importance of their involvement in the child’s oral hygiene practices, and the amount of fluoridated toothpaste dispensed. A self-developed questionnaire was distributed to 388 parents/ caregivers. Results: Low levels of perception and knowledge were observed in a high percentage of the participants. About 51% of the parents were unsure whether the toothpaste was fluoridated, and 87% were unaware of the fluoride concentration. Furthermore, 42% of parents never got involved in tooth brushing, 13% brush their children's teeth by themselves, and only 4.9% check their children's teeth after brushing. Almost 86% of children reported rinsing after brushing, while 3.1% spit without rinsing, and 4.9% of the participants were unsure. Mothers have higher knowledge and perception levels compared to fathers. Conclusion: Although parents are involved in their children’s tooth brushing, they do not know how much toothpaste should be dispensed for each specific age. Such findings suggest that there is a lack of awareness of proper guidelines for the selection and usage of toothpastes in children. Parents should be motivated to supervise and assist their children’s brushing using the proper toothpaste appropriate for their age.