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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 202-205

Parental knowledge and attitude toward pit and fissure sealants and fluoride therapy in children: A questionnaire study


Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Christian Dental College, Ludhiana, Punjab, India

Date of Submission06-Dec-2019
Date of Acceptance17-Apr-2020
Date of Web Publication25-Jan-2021

Correspondence Address:
Arun Deep
Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Christian Dental College, Ludhiana - 141 008, Punjab
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/cjhr.cjhr_121_19

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  Abstract 


Background: To increase the utilization of preventive dental care in the children, it is essential to improve the knowledge and attitude of parents about such cares. Prevention at primary level is of great value in Pediatric dentistry. Aim: The aim of the study was to evaluate the knowledge and attitude of parents toward fissure sealant and professional fluoride therapy. Methods and Material: In the present study, parents of children aged 7-12 years (n=80) were selected. A validated and reliable questionnaire was designed including demographic section, questions about parent's knowledge and attitude about fissure sealant and professional fluoride therapy. Data were analyzed by Chi-square test. Results: Majority of the parents had low level of knowledge about fissure sealant and fluoride therapy (68.8%). There was significant higher knowledge and attitude in academically educated parents (30%). Parents from urban area showed positive attitude (27.5%). Conclusion: In the present study, majority of the parents had low level of knowledge regarding preventive care. Knowledge acquired through dentists, mass media consultations and school dental program might be effective in improving the knowledge and attitude of parents.

Keywords: Attitude, knowledge, parents, pit and fissure sealant, topical fluoride therapy


How to cite this article:
Deep A, Thomas AM, Singh N, Shaila. Parental knowledge and attitude toward pit and fissure sealants and fluoride therapy in children: A questionnaire study. CHRISMED J Health Res 2020;7:202-5

How to cite this URL:
Deep A, Thomas AM, Singh N, Shaila. Parental knowledge and attitude toward pit and fissure sealants and fluoride therapy in children: A questionnaire study. CHRISMED J Health Res [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Feb 26];7:202-5. Available from: https://www.cjhr.org/text.asp?2020/7/3/202/307816




  Introduction Top


Dental caries is considered as an infectious, multifactorial, and contagious disease. It is the most common disease among children.[1] Early childhood caries affects the quality of life, i.e., it can lead to pain, missing school hours, and psychological problems.[2] It is preventable in its early stages. Intervention at the primary level can reduce this problem by means of community fluoridated water supplies, professional fluoride treatments, and pit and fissure sealants.[3]

Fissure sealants are highly effective in the prevention of pit and fissure caries[4],[5],[6],[7], and the management of the carious lesion.[8] Despite the effectiveness of preventive interventions, the number of children receiving these services is still very less.[9] There are many reasons for the sparse use of sealants in caries prevention. Lack of knowledge about sealants has been cited as a possible determent to its adoption.[10],[11],[12] Lack of public awareness is one of the barriers to the utilization of sealants.[13]

Oral health in infants plays a very important role as it lays down the foundation of permanent teeth. Parents' knowledge and attitude have a great impact on maintaining and improving the child's oral health.[14] Therefore, this study was conducted to evaluate the knowledge and attitude of parents about fluoride sealants and professional fluoride therapy.


  Aims and Objectives Top


The aim of the study was to evaluate the knowledge and attitude of parents toward fissure sealant and professional fluoride therapy.


  Subjects and Methods Top


To evaluate the knowledge and attitude of parents, a self-administered questionnaire was designed including demographic questions, parents' awareness toward dental caries, their preventive methods, and their attitude toward fissure sealants and fluoride therapy. In the present study, 80 questionnaires were distributed to the parents with a 100% response rate. The questions were mostly focused on the effectiveness of fissure sealants and fluoride therapy, the reasons behind not using these therapies and the perceived barriers. There were 80 parents included in the study whose children were 7–12 years of age. There were a total of 17 questions of which 3 questions were excluded and 14 questions were included for the statistical analysis.

Both descriptive and analytical statistical measurements were used to describe the main variables using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS 20, SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). Chi-square test and Pearson's correlation coefficient were used to compare the quantitative and qualitative variables.


  Results Top


Majority of the parents belonged to the age group of 28–33 years (34%) and showed a male predominance of 42%. The large part of the study population belonged to the urban area (42%) with an education qualification of either diploma (26%) or academic education (37%).

In the present study, the urban population showed a maximum positive response in comparison to the rural population with respect to all the variables included in the study. Based on the frequency of responses to the questionnaire, the study revealed that 35% of urban individuals had knowledge about caries, whereas 23% knew about the preventive methods for caries. The subjects around 22% were familiar with fissure sealants and had knowledge about the fluoride as a cariostatic agent as well. The most significant part of the response was that the parents had chosen “No” as the answer for most of the questions which reflects a lack of familiarity with the fluoride therapy and fissure sealants [Figure 1]. There was no significant difference between parents based on the age group and their genders.
Figure 1: Knowledge regarding the topical fluoride and sealants on the basis of location

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In the present study, parents who were graduates had more knowledge regarding caries (21%), their preventive methods (13%), sealants (14%), and fluoride application (13%) as compared to parents who had the qualification below high school or till high school. The study showed that parents were unaware of the appropriate age and frequency of the application of sealants and fluoride [Figure 2].
Figure 2: Knowledge regarding the topical fluoride and sealants on the basis of qualification

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Attitude

Based on the study, parents from the age group of 28–33 years predominantly females showed a positive attitude regarding the reduction of caries by the use of sealants and fluoride application. The interesting result was found to be the low percentage of parents who are in favor of regular use of sealants and fluoride application [Figure 3] and [Figure 4].
Figure 3: Attitude of parents toward topical fluoride therapy and sealants on the basis of age

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Figure 4: Attitude of parents toward topical fluoride therapy and sealants on the basis of gender

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The results revealed that majority of urban parents showed a positive attitude concerning dentists (37%) and effectiveness of sealants and fluoride application in the reduction of caries (30%) as compared to the parents who belong to the rural area. The study showed that parents did not show much appreciation in favor of sealants and fluoride application in the children.

The study revealed that parents who had the qualification till high school showed a more encouraging attitude in consulting the dentist (24%) and regular usage of sealants and fluoride (25%). Parents who were graduates also showed a good attitude toward the regular application of fluoride and sealants as compared to the parents who were below high school or who had done masters.


  Discussion Top


Success of any primary preventive agent depends on the understanding of its efficacy and acceptance by the target population. The present study emphasizes on evaluation, knowledge, and attitude toward professionally applied preventive treatment. In general, the results revealed that majority of the parents had a low level of knowledge toward fissure sealants and fluoride therapy. Similar studies by Mafeni and Messer and Jafari et al. reported that more than half of the parents included in the study had very low knowledge of fissure sealants and fluoride therapy.[15],[16]

Based on the results of the study, the majority of the parents knew that fissure sealants were effective in the prevention of dental caries, which is similar to the result of the study conducted by Jafari et al.[15],[16] It was found in the study that there is a significant correlation between the area of location and education level of the parents. This shows that parents with higher education had more knowledge about preventive treatment [Figure 5] and [Figure 6].[15],[17]
Figure 5: Attitude of parents toward topical fluoride therapy and sealants on the basis of location

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Figure 6: Attitude of parents toward topical fluoride therapy and sealants on the basis of education

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In terms of attitude, majority of the parents showed a positive attitude toward professional preventive treatment. The result of the study revealed that the higher the parental knowledge, the more optimistic they were. According to Mafeni and Messer, majority of the parents involved in the study were satisfied with provided fissure sealants.[16]

The most effective form of administering fluoride is through the regular use of fluoride toothpastes. However, the present study suggests that parents have low awareness of fluoride toothpastes, but they showed a positive attitude of using these pastes in future. Regarding the barriers, few of the parents reported the high cost of treatment. Currently, the tariff of fissure sealants is slightly lower than the restoration of Class I amalgam, and if a strategic plan is adopted by insurance companies to cover the cost of this effective treatment, it can greatly encourage the patients.[18]

To improve the oral health care access for children, first, there is a need to assess the oral health knowledge of their parents who are the primary caregivers and decision-makers for their children.[19] In a study conducted in Saudi Arabia, only parental education had an impact on their attitudes toward fissure sealants.[20]

There is a low level of awareness in parents regarding knowledge and attitude toward the oral health of children. Parents can play a very important role in promoting good oral habits, and by acquiring good habits themselves, they can positively influence their children. Parents should be educated about the importance of oral health and preventive oral health practices.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Khan H, Rehman K, Rasool G. Awareness of parents about dental disease and their prevention in children. Pak Oral Dent J 2009;29:93-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Acevedo AM, Ray MV, Socorro M, Rojas-Sánchez F. Frequency and distribution of mutans streptococci in dental plaque from caries-free and caries-affected Venezuelan children. Acta Odontol Latinoam 2009;22:15-20.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Kitchens DH. The economics of pit and fissure sealants in preventive dentistry: A review. J Contemp Dent Pract 2005;6:95-103.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Horowitz HS, Heifetz SB, Poulsen S. Retention and effectiveness of a single application of an adhesive sealant in preventing occlusal caries: Final report after five years of study in Kalispell, Montana. J Am Dent Assoc 1977;95:1133-9.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Weintraub JA. The effectiveness of pit and fissure sealants. J Public Health Dent 1989;49:317-30.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Simonsen RJ. Retention and effectiveness of dental sealant after 15 years. J Am Dent Assoc 1991;122:34-42.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Ripa LW. Sealants revisited: An update of the effectiveness of pit-and fissure sealants. Caries Res 1993;27:77-82.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Ismail AI, Gagnon P. A longitudinal evaluation of fissure sealants applied in dental practices. J Dent Res 1995;74:1583-90.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Bhuridej P, Damiano PC, Kuthy RA, Flach SD, Kanellis MJ, Heller KE, et al. Natural history of treatment outcomes of permanent first molars: A study of sealant effectiveness. J Am Dent Assoc 2005;136:1265-72.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Gift HC, Frew R, Hefferren JJ. Attitudes toward and use of pit and fissure sealants. J Dent Child 1975;42:460-6.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Hunt RJ, Kohout FJ, Beck JD. The use of pit and fissure sealants in private dental practices. J Dent Child 1984;51:29-33.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Rubenstein LK, Dinius A. Dental sealant usage in Virginia. J Public Health Dent 1986;46:147-51.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Selwitz RH, Colley BJ, Rozier RG. Factors associated with parental acceptance of dental sealants. J Public Health Dent 1992;52:137-45.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.
Kamolmatyakul S, Saiong S. Oral health knowledge, attitude and practices of parents attending Prince of Songkla University Dental Hospital. Int J Health Promot Educ 2007;45:111-3.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
15.
Jafari A, Amir Soltani M, Golestan B, Bahrami N. Evaluation of knowledge, attitude and practice of students' parents about fissure sealant therapy. J Dent Med Tehran Univer Med Sci 2010;23:242-8.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
16.
Mafeni JO, Messer LB. Parental knowledge and attitudes towards pit and fissure sealants. Aust Dent J 1994;39:172-80.  Back to cited text no. 16
    
17.
Baradaran Nakhjavani Y. Mothers knowledge about fluoride therapy and fissure sealants. J Oral Health Oral Epidemiol 2013;2:1-5.  Back to cited text no. 17
    
18.
Al Agili DE, Niazy HA, Pass MA. Prevalence and socioeconomic determinants of dental sealant use among schoolchildren in Saudi Arabia. East Mediterr Health J 2012;18:1209-16.  Back to cited text no. 18
    
19.
Oredugba F, Agbaje M, Ayedun O, Onajole A. Assessment of mothers' oral health knowledge: Towards oral health promotion for infants and children. Health 2014;6:908-15.  Back to cited text no. 19
    
20.
AL-Shalan TA. Saudi parents' knowledge of and attitude toward the prevention of dental caries. Saudi Dent J 2003;15:27-32.  Back to cited text no. 20
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6]



 

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  In this article
Abstract
Introduction
Aims and Objectives
Subjects and Methods
Results
Discussion
References
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