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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Oral Health 1/2015

Oral health behaviors and bacterial transmission from mother to child: an explorative study

Zeitschrift:
BMC Oral Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Autoren:
Jorma I. Virtanen, Kimmo I. Vehkalahti, Miira M. Vehkalahti
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

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.

Abstract

Background

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).

Methods

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).

Results

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).

Conclusion

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.
Literatur
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