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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 8  |  Page : 4396-4400

Self-perception on oral health and related behaviours among antenatal mothers attending a public antenatal clinic – Kerala

Department of Public Health Dentistry, Government Dental College, Kottayam, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Bindu V Bhaskar
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Government Dental College, Gandhinagar P.O, Kottayam, Kerala - 686 008
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_765_20

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Background and Aims: Antenatal oral care has been given least priority on a global scale. The study assesses self-perception of oral health knowledge and related behaviors among antenatal mothers. Method: A cross-sectional study was done among 400 pregnant women attending antenatal care clinic of a tertiary care center in Kerala, India. Details regarding knowledge, attitude, and practice were obtained, after getting an informed consent. The dental caries experience and gingival status were measured. To test the significance (p ≤ 0.05) between variables, Chi-square test was used. Results: Poor oral health knowledge was observed among 75.5% of the pregnant mothers. Oral health problems were reported by 63.2% of them. Low priority for oral health (59.4%) and fear for fetal safety (17.5%) were the reasons for delaying dental services. Oral examination showed that more than half of the study subjects had a high prevalence of dental caries (67.5%) and low gingival bleeding status (26.2%). The study highlights that more than half of the study population (60.8%) were influenced by the elderly in the family to avoid certain food items. A better oral health knowledge was observed among the upper middle class (OR - 2.8) who had visited dentists within the last six months (OR - 3.6) and child bearing mothers (OR- 0.46) (p ≤ 0.05).

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