Oral health care in preschool children: perceptions and knowledge of parents or legally responsible persons in a health care center of Porto Alegre, RS
Keywords:Health promotion, health education, health knowledge, attitudes, practice, oral hygiene, Pediatric Dentistry
AbstractPurpose: To evaluate the perceptions and knowledge of parents or legally responsible persons about oral health care in preschool children. Methods: Cross-sectional and descriptive study design. The sample consisted of 235 parents or legally responsible persons of children living in areas attended by the six Health Basic Units of the health care center Escola Murialdo, in Porto Alegre, RS. Data were collected using a structured interview, which was applied during the multi-vaccination campaign in 2004. Results: Forty-five percent of the interviewed subjects reported that the child oral hygiene should start before six months of age, and 57% declared that the child is able to brush his/her own teeth between one and three years old. In relation to the ideal age for the first dental appointment, 35% reported the ages between one and three year-old. Considering child dietary habits, 69% believed that saccharose should be introduced in the diet during the first year. Conclusion: It is necessary to prioritize education actions with target on parents and legally responsible persons of preschool children in the primary health care, because the family greatly influences the development of oral health habits in children. Key words: Health promotion; health education; health knowledge, attitudes, practice; oral hygiene; Pediatric Dentistry
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