Parents Awareness about the First Dental Visit and Behaviour Management
Mohammed Mamdouh Aldawood,
Taif - Almontazh, Taif, Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
Introduction: It is a well-accepted fact that regular dental checkups help to uncover the problems that can be easily managed at the early stages. An early dental visit can provide a perfect opportunity to the dentist to detect caries at early stages and save the primary teeth. In addition, this can be an ideal time for dentist to educate the parents about various aspects of preventive dentistry and provide well-timed anticipatory guidance.
Aim: To evaluate the awareness and attitude about the first dental visit and behaviour modification techniques for the children of Saudi parents.
Materials and Methods: A self-administered questionnaire consisting of 10 items were distributed to parents reporting at the Registration Appointments and Records Division of Taif University, College of Dentistry, Taif, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The questionnaire was prepared in both English and Arabic and the choice of language was made by the recipient (parent). The questionnaire response rate was 97.87%. The data analysis was performed using the Chi-square test with the help of SPSS software.
Results: Even though almost half of the parents believed the childâ€™s visit to the dentist should be as early as possible (49%) they believed the ideal age to visit should be at 3 years of age. The majority of parents (59%) appeared to be aware of the importance of the first dental visit and during this visit they expected the dentist to preferably focus on reducing the childâ€™s anxiety/fear. Regarding behaviour management, the majority of parents (7.1%) were reluctant to choose pharmacological methods, but were also willing to give the choice of the ideal method to the operating dentist.
Conclusion: The data indicated that parents were aware of the importance of the childâ€™s visit to the dentist; there was a relatively low level of knowledge about the timing of a childâ€™s first dental visit. Parents also appeared reluctant to choose the pharmacological method as a behaviour management tool, but the brighter side was they were also willing to leave the decision to the dentist. Hence, dental professionals have a good opportunity and also the responsibility to improve the knowledge and the attitude of the parents regarding childâ€™s dental care.