Oral health care in preschool children: perceptions and knowledge of parents or legally responsible persons in a health care center of Porto Alegre, RS


  • Daniel Demétrio Faustino-Silva UFRGS
  • Fernando Ritter
  • Iêda Maria Nascimento
  • Paulo Vinícius Nascimento Fontanive
  • Sibila Persici
  • Eloá Rossoni


Health promotion, health education, health knowledge, attitudes, practice, oral hygiene, Pediatric Dentistry


Purpose: 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

Author Biographies

Daniel Demétrio Faustino-Silva, UFRGS

Especialista em Saúde Coletiva, mestrando em Clínicas Odontológicas: Odontopediatria UFRGS

Fernando Ritter

Especialista em Saúde Coletiva e Saúde Pública, Secretaria Municipal da Saúde de Porto Alegre-RS

Iêda Maria Nascimento

Especialista em Saúde Coletiva e Gestão em Saúde, Coordenação Estadual da Estratégia Saúde da Família

Paulo Vinícius Nascimento Fontanive

Especialista em Saúde Coletiva e Saúde Pública, mestrando em Epidemiologia UFRGS

Sibila Persici

Especialista em Saúde da Família e Comunidade, Secretaria Municipal de Saúde de Gravataí-RS

Eloá Rossoni

Professora da Faculdade de Odontologia UFRGS, Coordenadora do Programa de Residência Multiprofissional do Centro de Saúde-Escola Murialdo






Original Article