The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
JV: designed the study, collected data and wrote the manuscript KV: designed the study, performed statistical analyses and wrote the manuscript MV: designed the study, performed statistical analyses and wrote the manuscript All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.
Health behaviors play a major role in the prevention of the most common oral diseases. To investigate health behaviors related to the potential transmission of oral bacteria from mother to child using novel multiple correspondence analysis (MCA).
Mothers (n = 313) with children under three years attending two municipal child health clinics in Finland completed a self-administered questionnaire on health knowledge and behaviors such as sharing a spoon with their child, kissing on the lips, and the mothers’ tooth brushing, smoking, age, and level of education. We used MCA to reveal the relationships between the mothers’ behaviors and background factors, along with unconditional, binary, multivariable logistic regression models, odds ratios (OR) and their 95 % confidence intervals (95 %CI).
Of the mothers, 38 % kissed their child on the lips and 14 % shared a spoon with their child; 11 % believed that oral bacteria cannot be transmitted from mother to child. Two-thirds (68 %) of them reported tooth brushing twice daily, and 80 % were non-smokers. MCA revealed two diverging dimensions of the mothers’ behaviors: a ‘horizontal’ one showing clear evidence of relationships between tooth brushing, smoking, age and education, whereas the ‘vertical’ one revealed the mothers’ habits of kissing the child on the lips and sharing a spoon related to each other. Spoon sharing was related to the kissing on lips (OR 10.3), a higher level of education (OR 3.1), and, inversely, older age (OR 0.1), whereas kissing on lips behavior was inversely related to a higher level of education (OR 0.5).
The study revealed two diverging dimensions of the mothers’ health behaviors. More emphasis in health education ought to be put to how to avoid bacterial transmission from caregiver to child during feeding.
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- Oral health behaviors and bacterial transmission from mother to child: an explorative study
Jorma I. Virtanen
Kimmo I. Vehkalahti
Miira M. Vehkalahti
- BioMed Central
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