|Year : 2020 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 202-205
Parental knowledge and attitude toward pit and fissure sealants and fluoride therapy in children: A questionnaire study
Arun Deep, Abi M Thomas, Namita Singh, Shaila
Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Christian Dental College, Ludhiana, Punjab, India
|Date of Submission||06-Dec-2019|
|Date of Acceptance||17-Apr-2020|
|Date of Web Publication||25-Jan-2021|
Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Christian Dental College, Ludhiana - 141 008, Punjab
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
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|| |
Dental caries is considered as an infectious, multifactorial, and contagious disease. It is the most common disease among children. Early childhood caries affects the quality of life, i.e., it can lead to pain, missing school hours, and psychological problems. 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.
Fissure sealants are highly effective in the prevention of pit and fissure caries,,,, and the management of the carious lesion. Despite the effectiveness of preventive interventions, the number of children receiving these services is still very less. 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.,, Lack of public awareness is one of the barriers to the utilization of sealants.
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. Therefore, this study was conducted to evaluate the knowledge and attitude of parents about fluoride sealants and professional fluoride therapy.
| Aims and Objectives|| |
The aim of the study was to evaluate the knowledge and attitude of parents toward fissure sealant and professional fluoride therapy.
| Subjects and Methods|| |
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|| |
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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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|| |
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.,
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., 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].,
|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.
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.
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. In a study conducted in Saudi Arabia, only parental education had an impact on their attitudes toward fissure sealants.
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
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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[Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6]