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The occurrence of severe dental caries is particularly prevalent and harmful in children. A better understanding of parental factors that may be indicators of children’s risk of developing dental caries is important for the development of preventive measures.
This study was conducted to assess knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) of mothers in Salé, Morocco regarding oral health and their predictors.
A cross-sectional KAP study was conducted of Mother and Child units in Salé, Morocco. Mothers attending the selected units from November 2014 to 29 January 2015 were recruited. Data were collected using a semi-structured questionnaire, administered by face-to-face interviews, to record socio-demographic factors and KAPs. The main outcome measures included knowledge about oral health diseases and preventive measures, and attitudes and practices related to oral health prevention measures and dental care. KAPs scores were then recoded based on responses and scores were determined for each KAP domain. Linear regression analysis was conducted to assess predictors of KAP scores.
Among 502 mothers included, 140 (27.8%) were illiterate and 285 (60.9%) were aware that fluoride has a beneficial effect in caries prevention. Mothers’ own practices about dental care were statistically related to their children’s use of dental care services (p < 0.001). Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that the knowledge score was associated with mother’s age (β = 0.05; 95% CI; p < 0.001), education level, and median income (β = 0.38; p = 0.04). Significant predictors of oral health-related practices were mother’s education level and children’s health status.
Limited KAP scores were observed among the studied population. A great emphasis on oral health education and some risk factor modifications are recommended.