Mothers’ perception of dental aesthetics in their children. A study in two fluoridated communities
Keywords:Dental aesthetics, oral health, dental fluorosis
AbstractPurpose: This study aimed to evaluate the mothers’ perceptions of the aesthetics of their children’s teeth. Methods: The sample comprised 47 mothers of children aged from 7 to 9 year-old, who lived in areas with fluoridated water. The children had their central incisors assessed for the presence of dental fluorosis using the TF index. Mothers were interviewed to collect data about their perceptions of the dental aesthetics of their children and were asked to cite any perceived oral problems. Results: A total of 49% of children exhibited dental fluorosis on the central incisors; most cases were TF=1 (45%). The frequency of mothers who considered their child’s teeth pleasing (60%) was higher than the frequency of mothers who rated them unpleasing (40%), regardless of whether the child had fluorosis or not (P=0.440). When asked to identify oral problems, 40% of the mothers cited misalignment and crowding, 9% cited yellow teeth, 4% cited dental caries, and 2% cited hypoplasia. Only one mother (2%) cited stained teeth, and it was actually a case of dental fluorosis TF=1. Conclusion: The mothers had a positive perception of their children’s teeth. Alignment and crowding were the most common problems reported by the mothers. The mothers did not recognise dental fluorosis as a significant oral problem in their children.
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